The Phoenix Suns have had a surprisingly good end to the last week of February. After gutting out an overtime-victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night, they shocked many by notching another win over the team with the best record in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs, again in overtime on Wednesday night.
Given their troubles this season that have left them at the bottom of the Western Conference and with a record of 20-39, that might seem like a silver lining to a season that’s been otherwise hard to bare. In actuality, these past two wins might have been a bad thing for the Suns.
At the start of this week, Phoenix was at 18-39 and had the third-worst record in the league. Now they are tied with the New Orleans Hornets and the Sacramento Kings for the fourth-worst record in the NBA. Moving up the standings seems like a positive thing, but in the Suns’ case that isn’t so.
Phoenix is in the middle of what should be a massive rebuilding process that includes getting young guys, primarily from the NBA Draft. The thing is that as they improve their record and move up the standings, they worsen their pick in the draft this summer.
Tanking in the sense of throwing games isn’t the right option for Phoenix, either. However, when older guys like Jermaine O’Neal are one of the team’s most consistent players every night while young players like Marcus Morris or Kendall Marshall are under-utilized, something is wrong.
Their focus should be on rebuilding through the youth on their roster, not by playing the older veterans. In developing their youth, they will also put themselves in position to add more talented young players to their roster through the draft. So the Sun may have been winning lately, but looking for wins shouldn’t be their strategy at the moment. Instead, they should be looking to get young guys experience and hopefully end up with a high draft-pick.