PHOENIX – Considering the types of lengthy winning streaks the Suns used to reel off under Mike D’Antoni, it’s really amazing that they will be going for their first winning streak of more than three games tonight against the lowly Wizards.
The Suns have now won three straight on six separate occasions and yet have been unable to ever sustain that momentum.
I’ve referenced a number of times Grant Hill’s “I think we’re here now” quote after the Suns beat Atlanta on Jan. 13 to cap a three-game winning streak.
Of course, that quote ended up being something that couldn’t have been further from the truth as the Suns immediately suffered a bad loss at home to Indiana and have gone 15-18 in all since then even after a three-game win streak that’s only their second-such streak since that mid-January win.
Conventional wisdom says the Suns will beat a porous Washington team that’s 5-30 away from the Verizon Center, fourth to last in offensive efficiency (101.7 points per 100 possessions) and second to last in defensive efficiency (111.0 points per 100).
But the way the Suns have played in their fourth game after a three-game winning streak all season, you never know.
With Dallas having split a pair of games during Phoenix’s last two days off, the lead remains at four games entering tonight, although the way head coach Alvin Gentry talks about not worrying about scoreboard watching I would assume he’s spent more time watching the NCAA Tournament than Mavs games the last two days.
“To me the most important thing for us is we’re playing as well as we can play, and what that gets us we don’t know yet, but we’ll take those results when April 15 comes around,” Gentry said.
Gentry has praised the intensity and unselfishness the Suns have played with during their three-game winning streak that has followed a six-game winning streak, so as long as Phoenix keeps playing like that Gentry won’t be fretting about the Mavericks.
With the March Madness-like approach the Suns are taking to the final leg of their season, I would be surprised to see a Wake Forest-sized letdown in this one.
“This is our playoffs,” said Suns guard Jason Richardson. “Everyone else’s playoffs don’t start until April 18, April 17, whatever it is. Ours start right now. We need every game just to make the postseason, so we’ve got to play the game like it’s our last.”