Coach Williams' '0.5' System Calls for Faster Pace and Quicker Decision Making

Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire headlined one of the fastest paced offenses the NBA had ever seen back in the 2000’s. Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s “Seven Seconds or Less” system influenced the league forever, but if you fast forward a decade, the game has only gotten faster. 

That same “Runnin’ and Gunnin” Suns team would rank near the bottom of the league in terms of pace today. And while seven seconds is fast, 0.5 seconds is faster.

Head Coach Monty Williams has only been in the Valley for a few months, but has already implemented his ‘0.5’ system in Phoenix that asks players for instant reaction times and quick decision making on the court.

“You either shoot it, pass it or drive it,” Williams said. “Just don’t hold the ball. It has to happen in 0.5 seconds. I just want them to play with pace and play together. ‘0.5’ is just a way to play faster… For me, it’s a free way to play basketball.”

The system allows for a more simplistic flow, but in order for it to run smoothly, the right players must be in place. Williams feels that him and General Manager James Jones have acquired the right pieces in terms of basketball IQ and talent to bring ‘0.5’ to The Valley.

“I think that’s were James and I have synergy,” Williams said. “We know the kinds of guys we want in our system. High character guys who make the right plays from a basketball stand point, but know how to work, know how to handle a video sessions, but they can play in ‘0.5’. I think that’s where the league is headed.” 

Players like Devin Booker are ideal for this type of system as he was one of just three players in the league to average at least 26 points and 6.5 assists last season (James Harden and LeBron James). His playmaking mixed with his elite scoring makes him a constant threat to either shoot, pass or drive in an instant. 

“We have a ton of offensive guys who can create offense for other people,” Williams said. “Devin can hold the ball and get his own shot, but he’s probably been the best ‘0.5’ guy we’ve had. He wanted to play this way. I think his ability to score and shoot the ball, ‘0.5’ fits his talent.” 

But ‘0.5’ goes beyond just the Suns star. Bringing in successful rookies from high-class college programs gives guys like Cam Johnson and Ty Jerome a shorter adjustment period to the NBA and therefore can more easily catch up to the pace of the Suns new system. 

“Look at Cam,” Williams said. “He’s a rookie. He’s out there taking charges. He’s making the right cuts. He takes the right shots, doesn’t hold the ball. I think it allows for a younger guy, by class, to be able to look like he’s not as young by his play. I think that helps. Ty, same way. All these guys are relatively young by NBA experience, but they play the way we want to them to and make good plays, so you don’t spend a lot of time coaching that.”

Suns fans have received slight flashes of the ‘0.5’ system throughout the first couple preseason games with players flying up and down the court while constantly keeping the ball moving. The team will continue preseason action as they head to Portland on Saturday to tip-off against the Trail Blazers.