Report: Suns’ Hornacek on hot seat

A 7-5 start through the season’s first four weeks apparently hasn’t bought the Phoenix Suns or their head coach, Jeff Hornacek, much rhythm now that Phoenix has fallen in the West standings. A bad 24 hours that started Saturday with a loss to lowly Philadelphia at home and a sprained left knee suffered by guard Eric Bledsoe turned worse with ESPN.com’s report that Hornacek’s job could be in jeopardy. As reported by Marc Stein:

Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns have been forced to contemplate a coaching change far sooner than they hoped because of a slide that has dropped them to 12-20 and 11th in the Western Conference, with fears growing within the organization that the team is no longer responding to Hornacek.

Phoenix began the season with playoff aspirations after posting records of 48-34 and 39-43 in Hornacek’s first two seasons and the marquee offseason signing of center Tyson Chandler. But the Suns have dropped 15 of 20 games since opening up at 7-5, seemingly bottoming out in Saturday night’s home loss to the Sixers in which star guard Eric Bledsoe also exited with a sprained left knee in the second quarter.

The Arizona Republic reported Sunday that Bledsoe is expected to miss “extended time” because of the injury, with results of an MRI exam forthcoming.

“Obviously it’s probably a low point for us,” Hornacek told reporters after the [Sixers loss]. “Now the confidence is lacking.”

It was Philadelphia’s first road win since last March, as well as the first game of a two-game suspension for Suns forward Markieff Morris, who threw a towel in Hornacek’s direction after being pulled from a home loss Wednesday to 12-18 Denver. Morris has been angling for a trade since the offseason.

“Pretty embarrassing, point blank, period,” Suns forward P.J. Tucker told the Arizona Republic on Saturday night. “If something doesn’t change quick, it could get really ugly, really fast.”

This is the final guaranteed season on Hornacek’s original four-year contract. Questions about his future with the club have been in circulation in coaching circles since the Suns elected not to pick up their team option on Hornacek for 2016-17 entering this season.

21 Comments

  1. Raptor4Life says:

    Jeff Hornacek does NOT deserve to be fired anymore than Kevin McHale did.
    Robert Sarver has a history of bad decision making regarding players, and his GM (General “MIS”Manager) has stumbled as well. These two dissolved any “team chemistry” when they lied to the Morris twins and then backed out of the deal. The entire locker room sees this…. and trust is destroyed. Jeff Hornacek had nothing to do with this – that is just the scenario he inherited this season.

  2. Alex says:

    Bring back Colangelo! Oh wait…they messed that one up too…

  3. Richard says:

    New Coach ? HOW ABOUT A NEW OWNER, SARVER, DOES NOT CARE AND HE’S A LOUSY OWNER. This is where the Suns problems lie.

  4. SeasonticketBuck says:

    The Suns team defense and intensity is horrendous…..especially Bledsoe and Knight, who both seem quit when they are screened. Price pressures the ball well but as soon as an on ball screen is set on him, he slams into it as if it were a wall. I have to point my finger at the defensive coaches who are not going over read-outs and tendencies of whom they are guarding, as well as teaching the team of different ways of hedging on screens. Not defending should put any player on the bench regardless of contract. A fire needs to get lit under each players azz to defend, play unselfish, and cut out the careless mistakes (Bledsoe, Morris, Knight…infamous ones). I like Hornacek as a person and coach but the intensity needs to increase NOW!

  5. sunny says:

    phx needs to hire tom thibadou. since phx like to max out every player they aquire they should max out for a long term coach.thibs is the real deal. all defense and will run your minutes to the ground.then morris will want out of the game and all the rest of the pussies who cant handle real coaching. not joking. phx has the guns and bullets. their just afraid 2 pull the trigger.

  6. expert says:

    People dont understand that morris brothers had cheated. they both took less salaries in order to play together… it was a deal behind closed doors, and then suns management broke unwritten agreement. Morris brothers lost millions.

  7. Peter says:

    It’s not the coaches fault, it’s the GM. Ryan Mcdonagh lucked out in 2013-14 with a cinderella story season which made him look like a genius. It’s his fault for constructing such a terrible roster. It’s not Hornacek’s fault he’s stuck with injured players, markieff morris, and no real post up threat. I seriously think the point guards are the problem. Both Knight and Bledsoe turn the ball over more than most other pgs in the league. This organization needs a total revamping from the GM to the players

  8. jimmybulter says:

    Porzingis needs to step up his game.

    This inconsistency is unacceptable.

    Dude needs to attack and be aggressive.

    Derek Fisher is not a good coach. All this elusiveness is not working.

    Him and Jackson should switch roles. Fisher obviously is fitted for the GM role, while Jackson is the true coach in game of basketball.

  9. Vandehey says:

    How about this – Tyson Chandler. $13M to set picks. Can’t shoot, can’t jump can’t defend. Couldn’t for the last couple teams that waived him good-bye.

    Nice job Sarver/McDonough. Save Hornacek.

  10. pej says:

    Hire Steve Nash!

  11. Vandy says:

    An unmentioned, but very relevant problem, is the preposterously bad play of Tyson Chandler. He’s done nothing
    throughout his NBA career, then the brilliant one, Robert Sarver & Co., signs this joker for $13M a year.

    Rather lose with small ball and pushing it up rather than waiting for him get down court. He can do little but set screens at the top. Can’t shoot and can’t jump. The guards don’t even bother with him on the pick and rolls as he couldn’t finish if they did get him the ball.

    What a wasteful job McDonough & Sarver have done. Keep Hornacek – remove McDonough and sell the team to Colangelo.

  12. sunsfanblog says:

    If the suns seriously think that Hornacek is the problem, I have lost all faith in this organization. We need new management if that’s the case, in addition to lessening the on-court egos infecting the entire community.

  13. Sahil says:

    This team has turned into a joke. Last game against the 76ers the suns were being booed!! They need to fire this coach right away! and let baby Morris go somewhere else. Obviously he can’t play without his brother, without crying. And the little coach on the team is useless. FIRE THE COACHING STAFF!!!!

  14. Anna King says:

    Change needs to take place. It’s evident that coaching and respect for the coach is not there. Phoenix can be a better team.
    I’m not understanding why players are taken out of the game when they are contributing and making a difference. I don’t want the confidence of the team to be lost. But something needs to change.

  15. jOLAN says:

    They should fire the GM. They were in a great position two years ago. They exceeded expectations, and had picks and cheap contracts. Then they brought in another ball heavy point guard and just started screwing with everything. Obviously they will fire the coach to try and reset, but its not his fault they messed up the team and pissed the players off. They tried to fast pace the rebuilding because of one over achieving season!

  16. Kadir says:

    IF YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF SORRY PLAYERS ON THE TEAM WHAT CAN THE COACH DO… Players should get fired also… I can think of many right now

  17. pete says:

    Coach has to go..Morris has to go. Whoever signed a 33 yr old injure pron center (Chandler), has to go..We need a quality swin man..period.!..This 2 point guard starting the game system, nope!, has to go.

  18. Time for a new coach and time to get rid of Morris, who is not a positive in their locker room or on the court.

  19. zimmerman says:

    why visiting (looking) the games of the Phoenix Suns, when there seems no real strategy to lead them back to reality.

    Means: FIGHT for every game, take the best players you have (who got such high-noted contracts). The last games

    looked like “giving everybody a chance” – to play, to learn, searching a new team for season 2016/17 !! I’m so disappointed,

    I see no team, fighting together, showing the only acceptable direction: WIN WIN WIN and starting every game only in this

    direction ! Be encouraged, show it in all 4 quarters, look forward, PHOENIX SUNS !