The Phoenix Suns have gotten off to a hot start this season, sporting a 5-2 record. They have been of the biggest surprises thus far and a lot of that is without their young star center Deandre Ayton, who is currently a few games into his 25-game suspension.
Devin Booker has been a star in this league for a few years, and it seems as if he has continued to improve his game yet again. The Suns have a lot of quality players around him now, but the biggest acquisition this offseason was the signing of point guard Ricky Rubio.
The hiring of Monty Williams has also made a huge impact on this team. The Los Angeles Lakers were another team who was interested in him, but he ended up in Phoenix. He has this team playing together more and the role players have really been stepping up. Guys like Kelly Oubre, Aron Baynes, and Dario Saric have all been impactful.
They have a good scoring balance on this team, behind Booker’s 26.1 points per game. Four other players, not including Ayton, are averaging double figures, with Oubre averaging 17.4 points per game.
It’s not like they’ve just beaten bad teams either. They have some good wins against really good competition and have looked good in doing so. When they’ve lost, they still have looked good in doing so. Both of their losses have come by just a single point in games against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.
Their effective play on both sides of the ball is why they have a 5-2 record, despite playing all but one game without Ayton. If they can keep it up, they have a chance to compete for a playoff spot.
It’s a long season, so you don’t want to overreact from just a seven-game stretch, but this is the best start they could’ve hoped for. The future is bright in Phoenix.
They started off a six-game homestand with a win over the 76ers on Monday, and they continue that over the next two weeks. The Heat, Nets and Lakers are the next three teams on the schedule.
In the Western Conference, you must be able to beat good teams if you want to compete for a playoff spot. Taking care of business against bad teams is also crucial, which they’ve done thus far against the likes of Memphis and Golden State.
The way they started the season is encouraging, but there’s a long way to go. With Deandre Ayton still out for another 20 games or so, the Phoenix Suns will need to find a way to keep winning in the short term.
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