Counted Out and Disrespected

The Phoenix Suns are currently sitting atop the Western Conference standings, and with only 5 losses on the season it’s hard not to picture them as serious championship contenders. They have the 30 point superstar in Devin Booker, the veteran floor general with CP3, one of the 5 best Centers in the NBA in Deandre Ayton, and arguably one of the best wing defenders in Mikal Bridges. Then you add in a spark plug like Cam Payne, the 7 foot lob machine McGee and a plethora of other bolts and screws which act as the small, but ultra important pieces to this winning machine.

Luck or skill?

Round 1 vs Los Angeles Lakers

Last season the Suns went to the NBA Finals as the Western Conference representative. 2 games in and people were sure they’d win the first O’Brien award in franchise history. Many had their bacon cooked in the first round believing the Lakers would send them packing early. This did not happen, in fact the Lakers played some of the worse basketball that they’d played all season and it was onto round 2 for the Arizona Pro team.

Many attribute the loss to LeBron’s age and AD’s injury, but since we can’t view an alternate reality where LeBron was 25 and Davis was healthy; the world may never know.

Round 2 vs Denver Nuggets

Round 2 saw the Nuggets of Denver and MVP winner Nikola Jokic get dismantled in 4 games by the semifinal bound Suns. Once again though the naysayers crept from their resting place with more negativity and hate. “The Suns won because the Nuggets were without Jamal Murray”, they proclaimed. That hypothesis remains to be tested.

Western Conference Finals vs Los Angeles Clippers

The 3rd round of the playoffs is where the Suns met the other LA team. The Clippers who had just come back from being down in two straight series. This matchup was to be the one that finally put those “good for nothing Suns” back in their place.

Not only did they beat the Clippers, but they did it in beautiful, fantastic, Cp3 shoot the lights out, better O beats good D fashion. The critics applauded their victory, but still put an asterisk by the series because the Clippers were missing their best defender and arguably best player, Kawhi Leonard.

In the end they lost to the Bucks and I could do a whole story on that, but maybe another day. This whole section was to highlight the “injury luck that the Suns were gifted on their run to the title game. Though I combat that by saying two things:

  1. The NBA is extremely competitive and despite the opposing team’s injury status you still need to play at the top of your game if you want to succeed.
  2. Injuries in the playoffs are NOTHING NEW! This is something we’ve witnessed time and time again. From the Raptors VS Warriors game. To the Warriors vs Cavs match. These are just two finals examples there are countless other postseason games I could mention. Spurs vs Warriors when Kawhi went down or Rockets vs Warriors when Cp3 went down.

The Real Deal

The Suns are for real! They had an entire month with a vacant loss column, they also had the longest win streak in franchise history with 18, and to top it all off they have been in a back and forth race with the Warriors for 1st place since they beat them in their first match this season.

It’s hard to say whether they can lock down the West, seeing as how COVID-19 is still a big factor, as well as injuries. However if they can avoid shooting themselves in the foot, this will be a very good year for Suns fans world wide.

For more great content check out some of the other articles:

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Nathaniel Malone

December 20, 2021