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Phoenix Suns

Updated Jan 25, 2013 - 1:59 pm

Suns coach Lindsey Hunter in good company at 2-0

Phoenix Suns interim head coach Lindsey Hunter, right, talks with P.J. Tucker (17) during the second half in an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Clippers 93-88.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Phoenix Suns are off to a hot start under interim head coach Lindsey Hunter after back-to-back wins over the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. The 2-0 start should turn criticism into optimism if history proves anything.

Out of the Suns 15 previous head coaches, only three have started 2-0 or better.

Back in the 1969-1970 season, head coach Johnny "Red" Kerr was replaced by former Suns' owner Jerry Colangelo after a 15-23 start. Colangelo finished the season with a 24-20 record, grabbing a bottom playoff spot before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.

It wasn't until 20 years later that another head coach would start off with a pair of wins, as Scott Skiles started 4-0 after replacing the retired Danny Ainge 20 games into the season. Skiles would lead Jason Kidd and the Suns to a 53-29 record and a short playoff run. Skiles remained the head coach for another season and a half before being let go with a 116-79 record.

Ten years later, Alvin Gentry would start 3-0 as the interim coach following Terry Porter. While he couldn't lead the Suns to the playoffs to finish the season like Skiles did, he did finish 18-13 before leading the team to the Western Conference Finals the following year. Gentry remained with the Suns for parts of four more seasons, bearing a 158-144 record during his tenure.

Hunter may not have been the fans' choice, but starting 2-0 -- as miniscule as that may seem -- puts him into a small group with a winning track record.


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