Phoenix Suns Look To Sweep Dallas As The Season Winds Down

Mar 22, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin (20) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 98-92. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin (20) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 98-92. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

When starting to write this preview, that tweet was the thing that kept popping into my head. Truth be told, it’s kind of hard to characterize this Phoenix Suns team one way or the other. At times, it has definitely seemed like the team has quit and there have been no positive takeaways from a loss at all. I think without a doubt you could look at the game against Atlanta and say that the Suns were pretty much ready to get the game over with the second it started. However, it’s important not to confuse like late-season effort with things like talent.

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(Allow me to go off on a tangent here and address the elephant in the room…)

It’s kind of funny in a way. The Suns would be in the playoffs if they hadn’t lost five times to game-winning shots with a second-or-fewer remaining. Really, just give them the three shots that hit the backboard, and they’re half a game out of the eight-seed. And with one game remaining against the New Orleans Pelicans, they’d essentially be in control of their own destiny, although that phrase has proven to be confusing to some in the last day or so.

To me, this is the amusing part, because reading some of the comments, not even on this site, but on Twitter and Facebook, you would get the idea that this team was among the worst in the NBA. To me, to call this team a bottom-three, bottom-five, or even bottom-ten team is actually quite absurd.

You can say what you want about certain players, and you have every right to be miserable about the outlook or future or whatever, but at the end of the day, RIGHT NOW, the Suns are a .500 team in a league where fifteen teams are below that mark. And take a closer look at some of those teams that are behind the Suns…

The Pistons are 30-47. The Magic are 23-53. The Sixers and Knicks combined have six fewer wins than the Suns. The Lakers are 20-57. Sacramento and Denver have less than 30 wins. Minnesota is 16-61.

In fact, there are 10 NBA teams right now with less than 35 wins, and the Suns’ have a combined record of 19-8 against them, winning over 70% of the time.

It’s completely okay to be bummed about missing the playoffs, but it’s also important to have perspective. This Suns team is in year-two of a rebuild, yet they’re still going to end up right around the .500 mark, despite playing in the ridiculously tough Western Conference. It’s definitely disappointing that the team missed out on the postseason, but in the end, quite a few teams miss out on the playoffs in each conference: Seven of them to be exact.

Anyway, thanks for putting with my rant there… now onto the game…

Green Still Firing

Despite the Suns being pretty much done, Gerald Green has continued to play, and play relatively well as of late. Sure, his 6-of-16 shooting line against Atlanta wasn’t exactly Jordan-esque, but he played just about as well as anyone in that game for the Suns, as Brandan Wright and Marcus Thornton were literally the only two players in the game to shoot 50% or better from the field for Phoenix.

After seeing “DNP-CD” in the box score next to Green’s name more often than not, he’s left an impact on five of the last six Suns’ games for sure, scoring 12-or-more points four times, while knocking down a three in all five games he appeared in. Green hasn’t quit as the year has started to finish up, and it’s something that should be looked at favorably, rather than completely thrown aside.

Playoff Rondo?

As March came to a close and April began, it seemed like Rajon Rondo was getting set to break out and remind everyone how good he could be. However, his success was so short lived that it may have very well been considered an April Fools’ Day joke.  After all, Rondo had back-to-back games with a double-double, starting on March 29, where it looked like he might even get a triple-double.

Rondo had 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds against the Pacers, and he followed that up with another 10-point, 10-assist outing, but in his last two contests he’s averaged just 6.0 points and 5.5 assists per game, while committing nearly four turnovers per 40 minutes.

The Mavericks may be able to beat the Suns without Rondo playing well, but come playoff time, they’ll certainly need him to be at his best. It’ll be interesting to see how Bledsoe plays Rondo, or if he just wants to take the night off again, which certainly seems like a real possibility at this point.

I mean sometimes, you just want to go home. I’m guessing we can all relate.


The Mavericks are 2-6 in their last eight games, and they come into this one having lost two-in-a-row, albeit to some of the league’s elite teams. The Suns, on the other hand, come into this game 5-6 in their last 11 games, not to mention the fact that they are 3-0 against Dallas this year. However, to beat a team four times in the regular season is quite difficult, especially when that team is as good as the Mavs, who sit at 46-31 on the season.

Regardless, Archie Goodwin and T.J. Warren bounce back, following a rough showing against the Hawks that saw them shoot a combined 2-of-12 from the floor. Both players reach double-figures in scoring, as Gerald Green returns to being just another guy off the bench. Bledsoe plays better than he did against Atlanta, but only because it would be pretty hard for him to be worse, and I’d venture to say P.J. Tucker won’t end up with a plus/minus of -29 like he did the other night, though I’ve certainly been wrong before.

For Dallas, Tyson Chandler continues with his super efficient April, where he’s shot a combined 13-of-16 from the floor. Chandler easily posts a double-double inside, going for 14 points and 14 boards, despite playing just 27 minutes (oddly specific, I know). Dirk Nowitzki, who is averaging just 14.3 points per game against the Suns this year, goes off for 27 points, which keeps his four-game streak of 18+ point outings alive, as the Suns fall by nine.

Dallas 108, Phoenix 99

Next: Archie Goodwin Points Out Suns' Problems