Suns Got Burned, But Give Them Their Respect

Prior to this season, the Phoenix Suns hadn’t made the postseason in 11 years. They were the second-worst team with 19 wins in 2019. The highlight of their season, year after year, was the NBA Draft. 

Sure, they squandered the series. It was theirs to lose after going up 2-0. But perhaps we should look both ways before shredding up Chris Paul and the Suns. 

Building From Within

  • 2015 Draft: Devin Booker showed the world exactly who he is, averaging 28.2 points in the Finals. He scored 40+ points in back-to-back games, but the Suns couldn’t close out.
  • 2018 Draft: Deandre Ayton, 22, was a double-double machine. He was the second-most efficient player (65.8% FG) in the playoffs among players logging 30 minutes per game.
  • 2018 Draft: Mikal Bridges was acquired from the Sixers in exchange for Zhaire Smith and a 2021 first-rounder. Bridges hasn’t missed a game since he put on that Suns jersey.

Plant CP3 in the middle of that, and suddenly you go from a lottery team to Western Conference Champions. Paul has been a leader his entire career — improving all four teams that have acquired him over a 16-year span. 

Head coach Monty Williams was the perfect bridge between CP and the young players on the team — he had experience coaching Paul in New Orleans and guided players with no experience on the big stage. “It’s hard to get here, and I wanted it so bad,” a choked-up Williams told reporters after the game.

Phoenix shocked the world, and maybe even themselves, this season. Now, they have to see what Paul will do this offseason. He has a player option, and reports indicate that he might be on his way out.

Too soon? “We just lost a few minutes ago,” he said. “Everything else will take care of itself.”