1995–96 Phoenix Suns season

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1995–96 Phoenix Suns season
Head coach Paul Westphal,
Cotton Fitzsimmons
General manager Bryan Colangelo
Owner(s) Jerry Colangelo
Arena America West Arena
Results
Record 41–41 (.500)
Place Division: 4th (Pacific)
Conference: 7th (Western)
Playoff finish Lost in first round to San Antonio (1–3)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Radio KTAR
< 1994–95 1996–97 >

The 1995–96 Phoenix Suns season was the 28th season for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association. Head coach Paul Westphal, who had led the Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals, went 14–19 before being replaced by Cotton Fitzsimmons, who would come on to coach in his third stint with the Suns. The Suns were eliminated from the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs, three games to one, in the Western Conference first round. All home games were played at America West Arena.

Charles Barkley led the Suns for the fourth consecutive year in both points and rebounds, averaging 23.2 and 11.6 on the season. point guard Kevin Johnson again led the team in assists, averaging 9.2 per game to go with his 18.7 points per game. Michael Finley, a rookie from Wisconsin, who appeared in all 82 regular season games, but none of the Suns' playoff games (because he got injured on the final day of regular season), was third in scoring, averaging 15 points per game, 39.2 minutes per game, and was later named to the All-Rookie First Team.

Barkley made his 10th consecutive All-Star Game. The power forward, who had turned 33 years of age during the season, made his 11th All-NBA Team, appearing as a selection on the Third Team. It was the first time in Barkley's career he had not been selected to the First or Second Team.

Offseason[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
1 21 Michael Finley Guard/Forward  United States Wisconsin
1 27 Mario Bennett Forward  United States Arizona State
2 56 Chris Carr Guard  United States Southern Illinois

The Suns received the 21st pick from a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1994. With the pick they would select future All-Star swingman Michael Finley from Wisconsin. Finley averaged 18.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in four years with the Badgers. On October 4, the Suns signed Finley to a three-year rookie contract for $2.17 million. In his rookie season, Finley would average 15.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steal per game, earning All-Rookie First Team honors. Finley was traded to the Dallas Mavericks midway through his sophomore season for All-Star point guard Jason Kidd.

The Suns used their first-round pick to select small forward Mario Bennett from Arizona State. Bennett averaged 15.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in three years with the Sun Devils. On October 4, the Suns signed Bennett to a three-year rookie contract for $1.66 million. Bennett underwent knee surgery before the season and remained on the injured reserve until March 1. Bennett would appear in just 19 regular season games, starting in 14 due to injuries, and two playoff games before being waived prior to the 1996–97 season.

The Suns used their second-round pick to select shooting guard Chris Carr from Southern Illinois. Carr averaged 13.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in three years with the Salukis. On October 2, the Suns signed Carr to a one-year rookie contract for $200,000. Carr appeared in 60 regular season games, starting in ten, and three playoff games. Carr would sign as a free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves after the season.

Roster[edit]

Phoenix Suns roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB (Y-M-D) From
F 34 United States Barkley, Charles 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 252 lb (114 kg) 1963–02–20 Auburn
F 8 United States Bennett, Mario 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1973–08–01 Arizona State
G 43 United States Carr, Chris 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 207 lb (94 kg) 1974–03–12 Southern Illinois
C 40 United States Coker, John 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 253 lb (115 kg) 1971–10–28 Boise State
G/F 4 United States Finley, Michael 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1973–03–06 Wisconsin
F/C 45 United States Green, A. C. 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1963–10–04 Oregon State
G 7 United States Johnson, Kevin 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1966–03–04 California
C 35 United States Kleine, Joe 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 255 lb (116 kg) 1962–01–04 Arkansas
F/C 15 United States Manning, Danny 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1966–05–17 Kansas
G 2 United States Perry, Elliot 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 150 lb (68 kg) 1969–03–28 Memphis
G 11 United States Person, Wesley 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1971–03–28 Auburn
G 14 United States Rencher, Terrence 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1973–02–19 Texas
F/C 23 United States Tisdale, Wayman 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1964–06–09 Oklahoma
C 18 United States Williams, John 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1962–08–09 Tulane
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)
Strength and conditioning coach(es)

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

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Reserve Inactive
C Hot Rod Williams Wayman Tisdale Joe Kleine John Coker
PF Charles Barkley A. C. Green
SF Michael Finley Danny Manning Mario Bennett
SG Wesley Person Chris Carr
PG Kevin Johnson Elliot Perry Terrence Rencher

Regular season[edit]

Standings[edit]

Pacific Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Seattle SuperSonics 64 18 .780 38–3 26–15 21–3
x-Los Angeles Lakers 53 29 .646 11.0 30–11 23–18 17–7
x-Portland Trail Blazers 44 38 .537 20.0 26–15 18–23 11–13
x-Phoenix Suns 41 41 .500 23.0 25–16 16–25 9–15
x-Sacramento Kings 39 43 .476 25.0 26–15 13–28 11–13
Golden State Warriors 36 46 .439 28.0 23–18 13–28 7–17
Los Angeles Clippers 29 53 .354 35.0 19–22 10–31 7–17
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Seattle SuperSonics 64 18 .780
2 y-San Antonio Spurs 59 23 .720 5
3 x-Utah Jazz 55 27 .671 9
4 x-Los Angeles Lakers 53 29 .646 11
5 x-Houston Rockets 48 34 .585 16
6 x-Portland Trail Blazers 44 38 .537 20
7 x-Phoenix Suns 41 41 .500 23
8 x-Sacramento Kings 39 43 .476 25
9 Golden State Warriors 36 46 .439 28
10 Denver Nuggets 35 47 .427 29
11 Los Angeles Clippers 29 53 .354 35
12 Dallas Mavericks 26 56 .317 38
13 Minnesota Timberwolves 26 56 .317 38
14 Vancouver Grizzlies 15 67 .183 49


Playoffs[edit]

Game log[edit]

1996 playoff game log
1996 playoff schedule

Awards and honors[edit]

Week/Month[edit]

  • Kevin Johnson was named Player of the Week for games played April 1 through April 7.
  • Charles Barkley was named Player of the Month for February.

All-Star[edit]

Season[edit]

Injuries/Missed Games[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
Charles Barkley 71 71 37.1 .500 .280 .777 11.6 3.7 1.6 .8 23.2
Mario Bennett 19 14 12.1 .453 .000 .643 2.6 0.3 .6 .6 4.5
Chris Carr 60 10 9.8 .415 .262 .817 1.7 0.7 .2 .1 4.0
John Coker 5 0 2.2 .800 . . 0.4 0.2 .0 .2 1.6
Michael Finley 82 72 39.2 .476 .328 .749 4.6 3.5 1.0 .4 15.0
A. C. Green 82 36 25.8 .484 .269 .709 6.8 0.9 .5 .3 7.5
Kevin Johnson 56 55 35.8 .507 .368 .859# 3.9 9.2 1.5 .2 18.7
Joe Kleine 56 9 11.8 .420 .286 .800 2.4 0.8 .2 .1 2.9
Danny Manning 33 4 24.7 .459 .214 .752 4.3 2.0 1.2 .7 13.4
Elliot Perry 81 26 20.6 .475 .407^ .778 1.7 4.4 1.1 .1 8.6
Wesley Person 82 47 31.8 .445 .374^ .771 3.9 1.7 .7 .3 12.7
Terrence Rencher* 2 0 4.0 1.000 . .333 1.0 0.0 .0 .5 1.5
Stefano Rusconi 7 0 4.3 .333 . .400 0.9 0.4 .0 .3 1.1
Tony Smith* 34 2 15.5 .405 .325 .649 1.6 2.5 .6 .1 5.6
Wayman Tisdale 63 6 18.3 .495 . .765 3.4 0.9 .2 .6 10.7
Hot Rod Williams 62 58 26.6 .453 .000 .731 6.0 1.0 .7 1.5 7.3
David Wood* 4 0 8.5 .167 . 1.000# 1.3 0.5 .3 .0 1.0

* - Stats with the Suns.
† - Minimum 300 field goals made.
^ - Minimum 82 three-pointers made.
# - Minimum 125 free-throws made.

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Charles Barkley 4 4 41.0 .443 .250 .787 13.5 3.8 1.0 1.0 25.5
Mario Bennett 2 0 4.0 .500 . . 1.5 0.0 .0 .0 2.0
Chris Carr 3 0 12.0 .643 .667 .800 2.3 1.3 .7 .3 8.0
A. C. Green 4 4 21.8 .353 .000 .875 4.5 0.5 .3 .0 4.8
Kevin Johnson 4 4 37.8 .474 .250 .824 4.3 10.8 .5 .5 17.3
Joe Kleine 2 0 4.0 .000 . . 0.5 0.0 .5 .0 0.0
Danny Manning 4 0 22.5 .458 .000 .625 2.8 1.3 1.0 .3 12.3
Elliot Perry 4 0 12.8 .500 . .000 0.5 3.0 .5 .0 3.5
Wesley Person 4 4 45.8 .393 .310 .800 5.8 0.8 .8 .3 14.3
Wayman Tisdale 4 0 16.8 .333 . .500 1.0 0.5 .3 .3 5.3
Hot Rod Williams 4 4 28.8 .438 . .667 6.5 0.3 .0 1.8 9.0

Transactions[edit]

Trades[edit]

October 7, 1995
To Cleveland Cavaliers---- To Phoenix Suns----
February 22, 1996
To Miami Heat---- To Phoenix Suns----

Free agents[edit]