So this is what it’s come to.
The Suns will be playing the lowly Thunder hoping to prevent their first seven-game losing streak of the Nash Era.
Their only six-game losing streak of the past five years came during a stretch that won Nash his first MVP in 2004-05, as he was injured during much of that losing run in what was an otherwise exemplary regular season for the Suns.
Phoenix was just fine despite its six-game losing streak in 04-05, as that team won 27 of 29 to precede the streak and then eight of nine thereafter. The Suns ended up with the NBA’s best record that season and lost only 14 games outside of that rough patch.
The six-game losing streak this season, on the other hand, serves as the final nail in the 2008-09 Suns’ coffin.
The franchise hasn’t lost seven in a row since the 2003-04 team that dealt Marbury and Penny to clear cap space for Nash did so. That squad lost eight in a row once and six straight on two other occasions.
Such marks are popping up all over the place in Phoenix, days after the team lost to Cleveland in the Valley for the first time in 10 years.
On the other side of the floor, Suns fans will get to see what I believe to be the template on how to rebuild by stockpiling draft picks, knowing you’ll suck for a few years and then having the core of a contender for years to come. It doesn’t hurt when teams like the Suns throw you unprotected 2010 picks that at this point look to be in the lottery level for cap relief.
That’s one option the Suns will have this summer, dealing Amare, Nash and possibly Shaq for young players and picks, although I doubt there’s any way Phoenix will luck into a franchise player through the lottery like the Thunder did in drafting Kevin Durant second overall.
For those of you who still care about this season, if the Suns are going to win 15 of 17 or whatever kind of crazy streak they keep talking about, it goes without saying that it absolutely, 100 percent must start tonight.