ESPN, OKC's Brooks Praise Hornacek's Work

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Because any number of rankings about any number of topics is never enough, ESPN.com recently came out with a poll on NBA front office rankings, the latest installment of which included coaches.

ESPN’s forecast panel was asked to rate each coach from zero to 10, an interesting proposition given that sample sizes vary from Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek’s 77 games (46-31) in Phoenix to Gregg Popovich’s 1,405 games coached in San Antonio.

Be that as it may, the panel went ahead with their rankings, which pegged the Suns’ head coach seventh out of the league’s 30 head play-callers with an average rating of 7.50.

Hornacek was ranked ahead of Portland’s Terry Stotts (eighth), Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks (eleventh) and Golden State’s Mark Jackson (16th), among others.

When it comes to Coach of the Year voting, however, Hornacek is No. 1 to at least one ESPN analyst. Marc Stein had this to say about Hornacek in his latest set of NBA Power Rankings:

“…keeping the Suns in the hunt for one of the last two playoff spots in the nutso West has me leaning -- still -- toward Jeff Hornacek over Gregg Popovich (and all the rest) in yet another way-too-deep Coach of the Year race.”

Of course, these kudos are coming from outside the NBA itself. Fellow head coach Scott Brooks offered his own evaluation of Hornacek’s work right before Phoenix beat his Thunder squad on Sunday night.

“You give Coach Hornacek a lot of credit. He has come in here and puta system together and put their players in a position to execute every night…he’s put their team in a position to win night in and night out.”