1980–81 Phoenix Suns season

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1980–81 Phoenix Suns season
Pacific Division Champions
Head coach John MacLeod
General manager Jerry Colangelo
Owner(s) Richard Bloch
Arena Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Results
Record 57–25 (.695)
Place Division: 1st (Pacific)
Conference: 1st (Western)
Playoff finish Lost in Semifinals to Kansas City (3–4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Radio KTAR
< 1979–80 1981–82 >

The 1980–81 Phoenix Suns season was the 13th season for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association. At 57–25, the team had finished with its best regular season record. For the Suns, they had appeared in their first Finals five years ago but never could claim a divisional title as their own. Atop the Western Conference standings for the first time, the Suns had earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The offense was highlighted by balanced attack, with four starters averaging 15 points or more a game, but none greater than 19. This, despite a trade that meant the departure of four-time All-NBA Paul Westphal, who was swapped for fourth-year All-Star guard Dennis Johnson. In the conference semifinals, the Suns would meet the Kansas City Kings, a team they had defeated in the first round one season ago but found more difficult to handle this season. After a 22-point win in game one, the Suns would go on to lose game seven and the series. The Suns were led by head coach John MacLeod and played all home games in Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Johnson was a tough defender and later earned All-Defensive First Team honors. He was also named to the All-NBA First Team. In the All-Star Game, Johnson was joined by teammates Walter Davis and Truck Robinson. It was the first time the Suns sent three players to the All-Star Game.

Johnson and Robinson shared top scoring marks for the Suns with an average of 18.8 points a game, while Robinson also led the team in rebounds per game at 9.6. Davis averaged 18.0 points per game and Alvan Adams chipped in 14.9 for the second consecutive season. Adams, a 6'9" center/forward led the team in assists at 4.6 a game.

Offseason[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

Main article: 1980 NBA Draft
Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
2 42 Kimberly Belton Center  United States Stanford
3 59 John Campbell Forward  United States Clemson
3 65 Doug True Forward  United States California
4 88 Leroy Stampley Guard  United States Loyola (IL)
5 111 Mark Stevens Forward  United States Northern Arizona
6 134 Coby Leavitt Center  United States Utah
7 157 Ron Williams Forward  United States Western Montana
8 175 Jim Conolly Forward  United States La Salle
9 196 Keith French Forward  United States North Park
10 211 Randy Carroll Forward  United States Kansas

This was the first year in franchise history that none of the team's draft picks played for the franchise. Not only did no selection play for the Suns, none ever played a game in the NBA.[1]

Roster[edit]

Phoenix Suns roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB (Y-M-D) From
C 33 United States Adams, Alvan 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1954-07-19 Oklahoma
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
G 22 United States High, Johnny 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1957-04-25 Nevada
G 24 United States Johnson, Dennis 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1954-09-18 Pepperdine
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 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 203 lb (92 kg) 1955-11-30 San Diego State
G 4 United States Macy, Kyle 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1957-04-09 Kentucky
F 40 United States Niles, Mike 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1955-03-31 Cal State Fullerton
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
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
PF Jeff Cook Joel Kramer
SF Truck Robinson Alvin Scott Mike Niles
SG Walter Davis Johnny High
PG Dennis Johnson Kyle Macy

Regular season[edit]

Standings[edit]

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Phoenix Suns 57 25 .695 36–5 21–20 22–8
x-Los Angeles Lakers 54 28 .659 3.0 30–11 24–17 19–11
x-Portland Trail Blazers 45 37 .549 12.0 30–11 15–26 18–12
Golden State Warriors 39 43 .476 18.0 26–15 13–28 10–20
San Diego Clippers 36 46 .439 21.0 22–19 14–27 14–16
Seattle SuperSonics 34 48 .415 23.0 22–19 12–29 7–23
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Phoenix Suns 57 25 .695
2 y-San Antonio Spurs 52 30 .634 5
3 x-Los Angeles Lakers 54 28 .659 3
4 x-Portland Trail Blazers 45 37 .549 12
5 x-Kansas City Kings 40 42 .488 17
6 x-Houston Rockets 40 42 .488 17
7 Golden State Warriors 39 43 .476 18
8 Denver Nuggets 37 45 .451 20
9 San Diego Clippers 36 46 .439 21
10 Seattle SuperSonics 34 48 .415 23
11 Utah Jazz 28 54 .341 29
12 Dallas Mavericks 15 67 .183 42



Playoffs[edit]

Game log[edit]

1981 playoff game log
1981 playoff schedule

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Star[edit]

  • Walter Davis was voted as a starter for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game. It was his fourth consecutive All-Star selection. Davis finished second in voting among Western Conference forwards with 172,479 votes.
  • Dennis Johnson was selected as a reserve for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game. It was his third consecutive All-Star selection. Johnson finished fifth in voting among Western Conference guards with 123,287 votes.
  • Truck Robinson was selected as a reserve for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game. It was his second All-Star selection.
  • John MacLeod coached the Western Conference All-Star team in a 120–123 loss to the East.

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 69 27.4 .526 . .768 7.3 4.6 1.4 .9 14.9
Jeff Cook 79 77 27.7 .464 .000 .645 5.9 2.5 1.0 .7 8.5
Walter Davis 78 77 28.0 .539 .412 .836 2.6 3.9 1.2 .2 18.0
Johnny High 81 10 21.6 .427 .083 .693 2.8 2.5 1.6 .3 8.4
Dennis Johnson 79 77 33.1 .436 .216 .820 4.6 3.7 1.7 .8 18.8
Rich Kelley 81 13 20.8 .506 .000 .758 5.4 3.5 1.0 .8 7.0
Joel Kramer 82 0 13.0 .527 .000 .692 2.8 1.1 .4 .2 4.1
Kyle Macy 82 0 17.9 .511 .235 .899 1.6 2.0 .9 .1 8.1
Mike Niles 44 0 5.3 .348 .500 .459 1.3 0.3 .2 .0 2.6
Truck Robinson 82 82 37.7 .505 . .629 9.6 2.5 .8 .5 18.8
Alvin Scott 82 5 17.4 .497 .167 .764 3.3 1.4 .7 .9 5.4

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Alvan Adams 7 7 31.1 .450 . .714 5.9 3.7 .6 .1 10.6
Jeff Cook 7 7 29.4 .463 1.000 .737 6.7 1.6 .1 .0 9.3
Walter Davis 7 7 28.4 .481 .000 .588 2.7 3.1 1.0 .1 16.0
Johnny High 7 0 16.7 .424 . .643 2.7 0.9 .9 .3 5.3
Dennis Johnson 7 7 38.1 .473 .200 .762^ 4.7 2.9 1.3 1.3 19.6
Rich Kelley 7 0 16.1 .400 .000 .643 5.0 1.9 .9 .4 4.1
Joel Kramer 7 0 14.4 .520 . .500 2.3 0.6 .3 .3 3.9
Kyle Macy 7 0 14.6 .528 .500 1.000^ 1.9 1.6 .7 .0 7.0
Mike Niles 2 0 2.0 .000 . . 0.0 0.0 .5 .0 0.0
Truck Robinson 7 7 33.3 .351 . .588 10.7 1.9 .7 .3 10.6
Alvin Scott 7 0 17.1 .467 . .667 2.7 1.0 .6 .9 5.4

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

Transactions[edit]

Trades[edit]

June 3, 1980
To Seattle SuperSonics---- To Phoenix Suns----
June 9, 1980
To Dallas Mavericks---- To Phoenix Suns----
November 25, 1980
To Indiana Pacers---- To Phoenix Suns----
February 3, 1981
To San Diego Clippers----

(Sent picks to Phoenix as compensation for free agent Garfield Heard)

To Phoenix Suns----

Free agents[edit]

Additions[edit]

Date Player Contract Old Team
June 25, 1980 Mike Niles Undisclosed

Subtractions[edit]

Date Player Reason Left New Team
May 28, 1980 Mike Bratz Expansion Draft Dallas Mavericks
September 9, 1980 Bayard Forrest Retired
October 8, 1980 Wiley Peck Waived
October 14, 1980 Garfield Heard Free agent San Diego Clippers

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Phoenix Suns Draft Picks". basketball-reference.com.