1979–80 Phoenix Suns season

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1979–80 Phoenix Suns season
Head coach John MacLeod
General manager Jerry Colangelo
Owner(s) Richard Bloch
Arena Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Results
Record 55–27 (.671)
Place Division: 3rd (Pacific)
Conference: 4th (Western)
Playoff finish Lost in Semifinals to Los Angeles (1–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Radio KTAR
< 1978–79 1980–81 >

The 1979–80 Phoenix Suns season was the 12th season for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association and at 55–27, the team's best regular season record since the franchise's inception. The Suns defeated Western Conference foe Kansas City in the opening round of the playoffs, marking the first time the Suns had won a playoff series in back-to-back seasons. In the Western Conference Semifinals, the Suns would lose to the Pacific-winning Los Angeles Lakers, who later went on to win the season's championship. The Suns were led by head coach John MacLeod, his seventh season with the team, and played all home games in Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Paul Westphal led the Suns in scoring with a 21.9 point-per-game average and earned All-NBA First Team honors, while Walter Davis was second in team scoring with a 21.5 average. Both Westphal and Davis would return as selections to the All-Star Game. Truck Robinson and Alvan Adams provided an inside presence, averaging 17 and 15 points per game to go with nine and eight rebounds each. Robinson would play in just three of the eight Suns' playoff games, however.

Offseason[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 22 Kyle Macy Guard  United States Kentucky
2 24 Johnny High Guard  United States Nevada
3 64 Al Green Guard  United States Louisiana State
4 86 Malcolm Cesare Forward  United States Florida
5 107 Mark Eaton Center  United States Cypress JC
6 127 Dale Shackelford Forward  United States Syracuse
7 147 Ollie Matson Forward  United States Pepperdine
8 165 Charles Jones Center  United States Albany State
9 183 Hosea Champine Guard  United States Robert Morris
10 201 Korky Nelson Center  United States Santa Clara

Roster[edit]

Phoenix Suns roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB (Y-M-D) From
F/C 33 United States Adams, Alvan 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1954-07-19 Oklahoma
G 23 United States Bratz, Mike 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1955-10-17 Stanford
G 10 United States Buse, Don 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1950-08-10 Evansville
F/C 45 United States Cook, Jeff 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1956-10-21 Idaho State
G/F 6 United States Davis, Walter 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 193 lb (88 kg) 1954-09-09 North Carolina
C 35 United States Forrest, Bayard Injured (IN) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1954-07-08 Grand Canyon
F 24 United States Heard, Garfield 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 219 lb (99 kg) 1948-05-03 Oklahoma
G 22 United States High, Johnny 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1957-04-25 Nevada
C 53 United States Kelley, Rich 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1953-03-23 Stanford
F 50 United States Kramer, Joel Injured 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 203 lb (92 kg) 1955-11-30 San Diego State
F 21 United States Robinson, Leonard 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1951-10-04 Tennessee State
F 14 United States Scott, Alvin 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1955-09-14 Oral Roberts
G 44 United States Westphal, Paul 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1950-11-30 Southern California
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Alvan Adams Rich Kelley Bayard Forrest Injured
PF Truck Robinson Gar Heard Jeff Cook
SF Walter Davis Alvin Scott Joel Kramer Injured
SG Paul Westphal Johnny High
PG Don Buse Mike Bratz

Regular season[edit]

Standings[edit]

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Los Angeles Lakers 60 22 .732 37–4 23–18 19–11
x-Seattle SuperSonics 56 26 .683 4 33–8 23–18 18–12
x-Phoenix Suns 55 27 .671 5 37–5 18–22 19–11
x-Portland Trail Blazers 38 44 .463 22 26–15 12–29 13–17
San Diego Clippers 35 47 .427 25 24–17 11–30 13–17
Golden State Warriors 24 58 .293 36 15–26 9–32 8–22
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Los Angeles Lakers 60 22 .732
2 y-Milwaukee Bucks 49 33 .598 11
3 x-Seattle SuperSonics 56 26 .683 4
4 x-Phoenix Suns 55 27 .671 5
5 x-Kansas City Kings 47 35 .573 13
6 x-Portland Trail Blazers 38 44 .463 22
7 San Diego Clippers 35 47 .427 25
8 Chicago Bulls 30 52 .366 30
8 Denver Nuggets 30 52 .366 30
10 Utah Jazz 24 58 .293 36
10 Golden State Warriors 24 58 .293 36



Game log[edit]

1979–80 game log
Total: 55–27 (Home: 36–5; Road: 19–22)
1979 playoff schedule

Playoffs[edit]

Game log[edit]

1980 playoff game log
1980 playoff schedule

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Star[edit]

  • Paul Westphal was selected as a reserve for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game. It was his fourth consecutive All-Star selection. Westphal finished fourth in voting among Western Conference guards with 127,409 votes.
  • Walter Davis was selected as a reserve for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game. It was his third consecutive All-Star selection. Davis finished fourth in voting among Western Conference forwards with 100,546 votes.

Season[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

Season[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Alvan Adams 75 63 28.9 .531 .000 .797 8.1 4.3 1.4 .7+ 14.9
Mike Bratz 82 1 19.4 .392 .244 .870 2.0 2.7 1.1 .1 8.5
Don Buse 81 81 30.9 .443 .241 .664 2.9 4.0 1.6 .1 7.7
Jeff Cook 66 14 13.7 .469 .000 .806 3.7 1.3 .4 .3 5.5
Walter Davis 75 73 30.8 .563 .000 .819 3.6 4.5 1.5 .3 21.5
Garfield Heard 82 5 17.1 .417 .000 .744 4.6 1.2 1.0 .6 5.0
Johnny High 82 0 13.7 .446 .143 .674 2.1 1.5 .9 .2 5.0
Rich Kelley* 23 0 16.2 .506 . .783 5.1 2.2 1.2 .7+ 5.8
Joel Kramer 54 6 13.2 .469 .000 .800 2.8 1.4 .5 .1 3.5
Truck Robinson 82 82 33.0 .512 . .667 9.4 1.7 .7 .7 17.3
Alvin Scott 79 3 16.5 .422 .333 .779 2.9 1.2 .6 .7 4.4
Paul Westphal 82 82 32.5 .525 .280 .862 2.3 5.1 1.5 .4 21.9

* - Stats with the Suns.
† - Minimum 25 three-pointers made.
+ - Minimum 50 games played.

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Alvan Adams 8 8 31.4 .566 . .895^ 9.6 5.8 .9 1.3 16.1
Mike Bratz 8 0 21.1 .512 .391 .900^ 2.5 2.0 1.1 .0 13.0
Don Buse 8 8 29.5 .438 .385 .636 2.6 5.5 .8 .0 8.5
Jeff Cook 7 0 14.0 .667 . .846 3.0 1.0 .6 .3 7.7
Walter Davis 8 8 30.6 .504 .000 .737 2.9 4.4 .5 .1 20.8
Garfield Heard 8 6 27.9 .393 . .733 6.4 1.5 1.1 1.4 6.9
Johnny High 8 0 15.0 .387 .000 .500 3.1 2.5 .8 .3 4.0
Rich Kelley 8 0 18.3 .432 .000 .900^ 4.5 2.8 1.1 .9 5.9
Truck Robinson 3 2 21.3 .375 . .714 6.7 1.3 1.0 .7 5.7
Alvin Scott 8 0 17.5 .515 .000 .500 2.8 1.3 .5 .6 4.8
Paul Westphal 8 8 31.6 .486 .083 .875 1.3 3.9 1.4 .4 20.9

† - Minimum 20 field goals made.
^ - Minimum 10 free throws made.

Transactions[edit]

Trades[edit]

June 22, 1979
To Washington Bullets----
  • Rights to United States Steve Malovic
To Phoenix Suns----
August 20, 1979
To Detroit Pistons---- To Phoenix Suns----
February 15, 1980
To New Jersey Nets---- To Phoenix Suns----

Free agents[edit]

Additions[edit]

Date Player Contract Old Team
May 22, 1979 Jeff Cook Undisclosed Washington Lumberjacks (WBA)
September 13, 1979 Greg Griffin Undisclosed Phoenix Suns

Subtractions[edit]

Date Player Reason Left New Team
September 4, 1979 Ted McClain Waived
October 1, 1979 Al Green Waived
October 1, 1979 Charles Jones Waived Maine Lumberjacks (CBA)
October 1, 1979 Greg Griffin Waived
October 12, 1979 Andre Wakefield Waived Utah Jazz

References[edit]