Last year, the Phoenix Suns made the playoffs after 10 years since their last appearance. They even reached the NBA Finals which was unforeseen by many. They lost to the Bucks in 6 games.
People dismissed their championship run a fluke and that they made it just because the other teams were shorthanded. In the 1st round they beat the Lakers who were without Anthony Davis, in the 2nd round the Denver Nuggets without Jamal Murray and in the Western Conference Finals they beat the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard.
So, it is understood why such claims were made regarding the Suns’ run and why everyone was skeptical whether they could do it again.
This season after losing 3 out of 4 games at the start the suns rallied to an 18 game winning streak, setting a new franchise record. They rocketed their way up to the top of the league and have perched in that spot till date.
The Players’ remarkable strides
Chris Paul, who many expected that his one chance of a title got over when he lost to the Bucks the previous season, has provided valuable leadership to the team. He is 1st in league in assists(10.7apg) and 2nd in steals (1.9 spg). His value to the team can be seen when he is not on the court. Before the arrival of Paul, the Suns were struggling a lot, not making the playoffs and always in the bottom of the conference.
Devin Booker has been proving himself as an elite scorer time after time again. He may not be the most athletic player in his team but his scoring speaks for himself. He is the youngest player to score 70 in a game. His arsenal of shots are such that he can shoot from beyond the arc or drive to the rim. He can even make post shots from the elbow and he is no slacker on defense. He is currently averaging 25.6 ppg.
Deandre Ayton, the no. 1 pick of the 2018 draft, has improved his playstyle which was earlier criticized to be soft. His interior presence underneath the basket gives the Suns good defensive cover. Mikel Bridges has proved his versatility on both ends of the court, guarding the best player of the opposing team and providing steady offense at the same time. The Suns depth in their bench means that their offensive momentum won’t stop once it gets going.
Monty Williams for Coach of The Season
Lastly, Monty Williams is the best coach the Suns could have asked for. His voice on the team motivates the players. His decision making has saved them from a pinch situation numerous times. Williams good relationship with the team has earned him the respect of the Suns players and his coaching is considered one of the best in the league at the moment.
The Suns have silenced all the doubters and overcome hurdles to get to where they are right now. Their only aim right now is to win the championship. The Suns have made the journey, will they reach their destination or not, let’s find out!