Phoenix Suns Limping To The Finish Line

April 2, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek (right) instructs guard Reggie Bullock (25) against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
April 2, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek (right) instructs guard Reggie Bullock (25) against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

One more game. One more game until the Phoenix Suns’ 2014-15 regular season comes to its merciful conclusion. One more game for fans to soak in how disappointing this season has been with the team figuratively and literally limping toward the finish line.

Over the last few months, watching the Suns’ season has been like watching The Red Wedding episode from Game of Thrones on repeat with Breaking Bad‘s “Ozymandias” playing on another TV right next to it. First, Goran Dragic said he didn’t trust management and Phoenix had to trade him and one-third of the roster away.

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Then we watched as the Suns’ playoff hopes slip away as the team struggled to adjust to new teammates and new roles. Now, even the remaining positives we’ve been trying to find are vanishing into thin air.

Phoenix doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have the luxury of blaming this disappointing season on injuries, but it’s undeniable that the past few weeks might have been a little more tolerable without so many Suns players being banged up.

You were looking for some positive momentum heading into the summer by looking forward to seeing how Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe paired together in the backcourt? Sorry, but Knight was only available for 11 games because he twisted his ankle and a heel bone bruise sidelined him for the rest of the season.

What about Alex Len, a player who stepped up once he earned his starting job and has shown some potential of becoming a franchise center? Nope, this 20-year-old is far too injury-prone to be a silver lining in this cloudy remainder of a season, going down with ankle injuries and a broken nose. He could play with a fitted mask, but with the Suns playing for nothing, what’s the point?

Well, how about Eric Bledsoe maybe stepping up as a leader? That’s a nice thought, but the only starters he’s been playing alongside lately are Markieff Morris and P.J. Tucker, and to be honest, neither of those players would start for a championship-caliber team.

Hmm. Well at least with Len out, we’ve been getting an extended look at upcoming unrestricted free agent Brandan Wright, right? Kind of. While Wright did impress by averaging 12.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game in his seven starts for the Suns, he missed last night’s game with a sore foot and might not play in Phoenix’s season finale on Tuesday.

Ok, but how about more minutes for the youngsters like Archie Goodwin, T.J. Warren and Reggie Bullock? Watching the unused bench players get some legitimate run time must be nice, right?

Perhaps. While these minutes will be beneficial in the long run, there’s no question these last few weeks have represented a trial by fire for the uninitiated, and it hasn’t been pretty to watch as the Suns’ offense dies a slow, painful death.

Goodwin is shooting 37 percent from the field and 20 percent from three-point range since the beginning of March. More minutes for Warren have exposed some of his understandable but glaringly obvious flaws on the defensive end. And Bullock, who was finally set to receive significant playing time, didn’t play last night due to a concussion.

Hell, even Jerel McNeal couldn’t catch a break and get some minutes thanks to a bizarre roster snafu.

Every single possible positive scenario we’ve been painting over the last few weeks has been stripped down. No offense to Gerald Green, but when Gerald Green is the most interesting thing about your team down the stretch of the regular season, you’re probably doing something wrong.

The truth is, winning cures all ails and as losers in nine of their last 10 games, the Suns as sickly as any Western Conference team heading into the offseason.

This team has a bright future. They’re one big-name free agent away from restoring faith in the NBA’s fourth winningest franchise. But the Suns are also figuratively and literally limping toward their fifth consecutive season of missing the playoffs, the organization’s longest postseason drought since 1971-75.

In other words, only two more days, Suns fans. Two more days until the pain is over and the hopeful healing of the offseason can begin.

Next: Jeff Hornacek Not To Blame For Suns' Struggles

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