Analysis: Monty Williams keeps pushing all the right buttons

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams gestures during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

There are cameras and microphones everywhere at the NBA Finals, and they happened to catch an interaction late in Game 2 that was going viral before the game was even over.

It was Phoenix coach Monty Williams, talking only to Suns center Deandre Ayton during a time out and trying desperately to cheer him up on what was a slow night statistically against the Milwaukee Bucks. Ayton’s head was down. His body language was awful. Williams wasn’t having it. He started talking, then grabbed Ayton’s wrist to further commandeer his attention.

Mind you, his voice was raised high enough only so Ayton could hear him over the din of the crowd. No yelling, no screaming, no swearing, no histrionics.

”You set a high level for yourself,” Williams said. ”That’s why you’re down. That’s great. Now go reach that level, OK? And you can reach it with force. Doesn’t have to be stats all the time. Go dominate the game with force, because you set a high level for yourself. Go dominate the game with force. Let’s go.”