Scouts Takes: Hornacek's style suits Suns

December, 6, 2013
12/06/13
5:02
PM ET

Eastern Conference scout on Jeff Hornacek's fine start in Phoenix:


Hornacek
Hornacek
"I know it's easy to say now, but I always saw Jeff as a natural. He came up under some terrific coaching mentors: Jerry Sloan, obviously, but also Cotton Fitzsimmons when he was a young player. And that's Jeff's greatest asset. He's played for coaches with different styles, and he's not married to any one style. He's willing to adjust to the talent instead of just saying: 'This is the way you have to do it.'

"He's also got a great demeanor about him. He'll get on guys when he has to, but he has a very patient demeanor with young players. And he's going to keep getting better. I think Utah, if they were being totally honest, would tell you they wished they kept him.

"I always thought in Utah, with Jeff and Stockton and Malone, it was the same offense every year. But they were all like coaches on the floor who were smart enough to think about ways to confuse the defense. Teams can game plan for you [easier] when you run the same offense over and over and over, but the three of them would figure out slightly different angles to make the cut and get their shots in a slightly different place.

"I bet [Eric] Bledsoe and [Goran] Dragic love playing for him. [Hornacek] comes from a coaching background -- his dad was a coach -- so he knows how to handle people and he's great for guards. But I still think they're going to have do something with those two; Dragic is the one they probably trade."

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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