The Phoenix Suns have been on a tear this year racking up wins left and right. They currently have the West on lock, playing some of the best ball we’ve ever seen. The Suns also have the best record in the entire NBA. Which is saying something seeing as how they don’t have the best collection of players by far. However, with success comes scrutiny. And the Suns have faced plenty of doubtful on-lookers laughing at the notion that this team could contend with other clubs in a 7 game series. Hence the title, on top of the world but under the radar.
What Makes the Suns So Good?
Every great team isn’t always the most popular team, the most watched team, or the best assortment of big name players. However, a great team does have a few key things:
- A Brotherhood– Every ball club that plans to have any success needs to establish a sense of camaraderie and companionship. This very important ingredient will not only be the glue that holds the team together, but the love that makes you fight just that much harder for the brother to your left and your right.
- Role players that can play their role– The Suns are a team riddled with role players. Players tossed in the trash, players resurrecting their careers and players who are young and somewhat unproven. These same guys though are selfless and motivated. This makes them valuable to a team with championship aspirations because they won’t bog down morale, or kill the team by making it all about them. Players like JaVale McGee, Cam Johnson, Elfrid Payton, Jalen Smith, Bismack Biyombo, Cam Payne, and Frank the Tank are great locker room teammates, perfect complimentary players and above all they go to work and get it done.
Scrap the Scouting Report
Another thing that makes the Suns so successful is the fact that any player on the team is a threat to go off. It’s no secret that they owe Devin Booker a lot of praise for his superstar play. But, on any given night Mikal Bridges, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, or Cameron Payne (to name a few) could easily give the team a 20-30 point jolt. To further this point the Suns have gone on another hot-streak. And during this time they have had Ayton, Crowder, Payne, Booker, and McGee all absent at one point or another. The team however has such a next man-up mantra, and a winning mentality that it hasn’t phased us a bit. Biyombo and Smith have filled into the shoes of Ayton and McGee seamlessly. CP3 has continued to put up another All-NBA worthy performance leading his team to victory no matter the starting 5.
One Team’s Trash is Another Team’s Treasure.
This year the Suns have had great play by…let’s just say “not so great players”. This isn’t made to be a knock at them by any means but let’s face it, nobody was licking their lips at the sight of a free agent Javale McGee or Landry Shamet. Both players have not only played quality minutes this season, but have been legitimately contributing to wins.
We have our big 3 in D.A., D-Book and CP3, but the supporting cast of cast-outs and misfits have been a godsend for us all year and all signs point to a deep playoff push because of said players. I know I sort of got on McGee really hard at the start of the year, but since then he has been the back up center we’ve needed and the interim 4 man in certain line up packages. His numbers are pretty solid and he’s beginning to look like one of the free agency steals. His presence inside has been invaluable to us, and some games he even established himself as a 4th scoring option when needed.
Javale McGee’s Numbers From Last Season vs This Season
- 2020: ppg: 8.0/5.5
- 2021: ppg: 10.0
- He’s also averaging 7.1 rebounds which is the second most he’s averaged in the last 9 years. ( Last year he averaged roughly 5 boards)
On Top of The World…
I say this phrase because in a sense the Suns are “on top of the world”. They’re on top of the standings, on top of the power rankings, on top of the Vegas Finals odds and on top of the league. They are scorching hot and have the rest of the West wondering what’s in the water in Phoenix so that they can fly down and take a swig of that.
In my opinion they are still under the radar. Sure people see them leading the pack, but once the playoffs start fans will naturally flock to the more stories franchises with some of the more popular players. The Jazz have dealt with this issue for the past few years and the Suns are going to get the full dose of what they had a sip of last year. Disrespect. Disregard. And Disdain.
Look at the NBA power rankings recently: https://www.nba.com/news/category/power-rankings
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