The Phoenix Suns are a team to avoid in the West
The Phoenix Suns are one of the biggest surprises in the league this season. The team was supposed to be tanking after the series of moves it performed over the last couple of years. Nonetheless, not only the Suns are not sinking this season but they have become a team that lots of their opponents, even the best teams of the conference would like to avoid in the playoffs.
After their most recent victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Phoenix Suns have now improved to a 25-18 record and they lie at the seventh seed of the Western Conference. Whilst the Suns never really made it to the first four spots of the West up to now, they have found much success against the toughest teams in the league.
A few days ago, Goran Dragic and his company smashed the best team in the league, the Indiana Pacers. Against the best defense of the NBA they scored 124 points, blowing out one of the strongest favorites, if not the strongest, for the title this season.
Phoenix might not be considered as a championship contender this season but they should not counted out either. In fact, the Suns have shown that they can beat teams like the Pacers, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets. So how can they do it? Even now that they are playing without one of their two most important players, Eric Bledsoe?
First of all, the Suns do have one of the youngest teams in the league. They use their energy and aggressiveness in their favor, running the break, playing quickly and making it difficult for their opponent to follow their pace. On top of that, they space the floor excellently and that disrupts the opposing defenses. The Suns do have a roster that includes a bunch of shooters, even in their frontcourt. Channing Frye and the Morris brothers can all shoot the three and that forces opposing big men, even centers to try and defend them in the perimeter. Most centers are just not used to run out to the three-point range to defend shooters.
This advantage was clearly exposed during the game against the Indiana Pacers, when the Suns simply killed their opponents with their shooting. This was a statement victory. Not many teams around the league have manage to beat the Pacers this season and no team has managed to beat Indiana by such a margin.
Of course, the Suns still have lots of sectors they can improve their game. Even the fact that they are playing without Bledsoe certainly affects their performance. Defense is certainly one of those. That’s why we can’t really say they are a threat to the top teams of the West for the highest seeds in the conference. Nonetheless, they are definitely a team to avoid come playoff time. When the Phoenix Suns play at their best, they are a nightmare to their opponents.