After beginning the season extremely hot, the Phoenix Suns have slowed down quite a bit. The team went up against the division rival Los Angeles Clippers in a showdown without their star guard and former member of the Clippers, Eric Bledsoe. Phoenix lost the game 112-105 while allowing Blake Griffin to put up a hefty 37 points against them. On the bright side, the Suns once again received a fantastic effort from their other emerging star Goran Dragic, who dropped 23 points in addition to five assists.
Furthermore, the outcome of this game may have been a bit different if Bledsoe was not injured. Injuries have played a huge role in Phoenix’s demise as they have been stacking up the losses. In the Western Conference, every game counts, especially when fighting for the No. 8 seed. Teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, for example, are in the hunt to secure playoff positions as well.
Don’t get me wrong; Phoenix out of it by any means. In fact, with Bledsoe expected to return this week, the Suns should be in pretty good position to knock off either the Grizzlies or Mavericks. Of course the team is irking for a shot at squaring off against either the Oklahoma City Thunder or San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, but either way this team has tons to be proud of.
To begin, the Suns were expected to finish as the second worst team in the entire league. Yes, Phoenix was referred to in the company of tanking teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers at the season’s start. However, the young players on this squad have stepped up tremendously all season long. It would certainly be sad to see all of the effort go to waste, so let’s hope that Bledsoe’s return sparks Phoenix once again. The team can no longer afford close losses like tonight’s.
After dropping three of the last four contests, Phoenix is lucky enough to have a much easier schedule coming up though. Hopefully, these games will allow Bledsoe to work himself back into the rotation without being too much of a detriment to the team. We will have to see what happens in the final stretch of the regular season. It should be exciting.