Are The Phoenix Suns For Real, or Just Playing Pretender?
We are about a third of the way into the 2013 NBA season, and a few things haven’t changed. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs still look like defending conference champions, and the Utah Jazz still stink. Among some of the surprises, though, are the Phoenix Suns and their red-hot streak as of late.
The Suns are 17-10 and have won eight of their last nine games, soaring up the weekly power rankings on each and every edition out there. When looking at their 17 wins on the season, just seven of them have come against teams with a winning record. But, then again, the Eastern Conference is terrible and the West is competitive. Things are pretty wide open in the NBA this year aside from a few teams that will be a force come playoff time.
So, are the Suns for real?
I believe they are, if that means they will end up making the playoffs and could wind up advancing past the first round. They are built to run past teams, shoot better than most and score in bunches. The Suns boast the league’s 8th-ranked offense as they have put up over 103 points per game. Let’s not forget the fact that the Suns are 2-0 against the Portland Trail Blazers, who only have only lost five games all year long.
Led by phenomenal guard play from Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, the Suns have found one heck of a back court this season. Bledsoe was a great offseason addition, but I don’t think anyone expected this out of he and Dragic combined. They might even quietly be a top-5 back court in this league at the moment.
Defensively, they rank only 18th, but haven’t had to keep many opponents under 100 points because they have scored so many points on their end. Better-than-expected play from Miles Plumlee has kept the front court alive, and the Suns have been able to win games while not being one of the better rebounding teams — mainly because they are shooting over 46 percent as a team this year.
The Suns have been one of the more fun teams to watch in basketball this year, because nobody expected this kind of success out of them. 2013 was supposed to be a clear building year, but instead it has turned into a season with legitimate playoff implications. If Phoenix continues to gel as a team and they can keep their back court healthy, watch out for them come playoff time.