What's Going On With The Phoenix Suns?
The Phoenix Suns started the season strong and kept going at it, despite some luck not going their way. They held a 7-4 record 11 games into the season and at the quarter mark they were still looking good, holding an 11-12 record.
Through those 23 games, the Suns were averaging 115.7 points per game, which saw them as a top five offensive team.
However, until they defeated the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, they were on an 8 game losing streak and plummeted down the Western ranks.
During that losing streak, Phoenix was averaging 109.5 points per game, which would rank them 17th in the league or just inside the bottom half.
They currently grasp a 12-20 record and there are serious questions hanging over their heads.
What’s going on, Phoenix? Is this team for real, finally, after the disappointing decade they’ve had? Or was their early, promising start just a fluke?
Well, the problem is, we are less than halfway through the 2019-20 campaign and their fortunes could still swing either way. That could be a good thing or a bad thing.
As a super fan, I want to be hopeful and see the positives that have shown themselves. One thing is for sure, this team is much better than last season’s version and there is no arguing that. By itself, that’s a win and a reason to smile.
We aren’t talking about last season though, as this is a new season with a new story and Suns fans want to see a happy one.
So, let’s dissect this team a little bit, shall we?
Deandre Ayton played in the first game of the season, and then was suspended for the next 25 games after testing positive for diuretics. He came back for a single match and has since been hurt. So one of the cornerstones of the team has only played in a grand total of TWO games this season.
Aron Baynes, who has filled the center position so well in the absence of Ayton, has missed nine games himself.
Half of the eight games on this past losing streak were played without starting point guard Ricky Rubio and face of the franchise Devin Booker.
Needless to say, you can likely turn a couple of those losses to victories, had it not been for those injuries. It’s still early in the season so that would change the team’s record significantly.
The Suns have also played in many close games and have had eight losses by four points or less. If they won all those games, that flips their record from 12-20 to 20-12 and would put them in the same conversation as the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers.
Winning all of those is very wishful thinking, though, so let’s just say if they’d won half of those then they’d be holding onto a 16-16 record, sitting at .500 this far into the season. They’d be mentioned in the same group as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brooklyn Nets.
If the Suns can get healthy, keep scrapping and realize there’s a lot of ball left to play, then they can still be a really good team this year.
They score the 6th most points per game and are the most unselfish team in the association as they dish out the most assists per game. Though their defense isn’t great, they force the 2nd most turnovers per game.
Here’s to hoping Ayton can return soon and stay healthy along with the rest of the core guys and they get back to their winning ways. Go Suns!