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NBA - US Sports: Suns star backs Williams for coaching honour

Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson says coach Monty Williams deserves to pick up the Coach of the Year award.

The Suns host New Orleans Pelicans in Game 2 of their first round playoff series on Tuesday and they are 2/11 to win with a -9.5 handicap in the Point Spread, while Phoenix are 2/1 to go all the way and win the NBA Championship outright.

Podium finish to build on

Williams finished second in the voting for the Coach of the Year award last season behind Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks.  

Williams led Phoenix to the top seed in the Western Conference as they finished the season with a league-best 64-18 overall record, setting franchise records for most wins in a single season and most road victories with 32.

The Suns coach is on the three-man shortlist for the award this year, alongside Memphis' Taylor Jenkins and Erik Spoelstra of Miami Heat.

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High praise for boss

Johnson, who himself could be in line for individual recognition as he is on the three-man shortlist for the Sixth Man of the Year award, says Williams is the leading contender for the coaching honour.

"I think so, but that's not my vote [the media votes for the NBA awards]," said Johnson, via AZ Central.

"He's the only coach I've played for in the NBA, but everything I've seen him do from a coaching standpoint has been so high level. From Xs and Os to encouraging guys to being on guys when they need to picked up a little bit and then kind of keeping us motivated from game to game.

"Eighty-two [regular season] games and we're grown men. It's not like when you're mad at us, you can berate us and put us on the line and we'll fall in line.

"So he has a good way of getting us to do what he wants us to do and play with that high level of energy and play with that high level of competitive spirit." 

Johnson is up against Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers veteran Kevin Love for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

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