The Phoenix Suns have the worst record in the Western Conference, but the teams they’ve beaten are good reason for optimism.
The Phoenix Suns have had a mostly frustrating start to the season. They sit at 4-14, and they’ve had plenty of ugly losses. But among the team’s struggles have been some quality wins, and that means something. The Suns aren’t just capitalizing against the league’s worst teams, they’re beating teams that should make the playoffs. The consistency might not be there, but it sure looks like the talent is.
On Friday, the Phoenix Suns pulled a great upset over the Milwaukee Bucks on the road. The Bucks, now 13-5, are second in the Eastern Conference, and they have a good chance to be in the NBA Finals come June. The Suns won even with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 35 points and missing just two shots. But the Suns went toe to toe with the MVP candidate, and they were able to take down one of the deepest teams in the league.
The Suns also beat the San Antonio Spurs by 20 and the Dallas Mavericks by 21. While both would miss the playoffs if the season ended today, they have nine wins apiece, just one less than the eighth seeded Sacramento Kings, and they shouldn’t be discounted as bad teams. They both solid rosters, All-Stars, and great coaches, and the Suns beat them both handily.
And finally, in a win that didn’t seem all that impressive at the time, the Suns took down the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis, one of just six games they’ve lost all year. The 12-6 Grizzlies are tied for first in the Western Conference, and while that’s unlikely to hold up, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley have managed to stay healthy and look as good as ever.
So yes, the Phoenix Suns have just four wins all season. But it’s not like they have one team’s number; they’ve beaten four different teams, all of which are in the playoff discussion. Their record is still disappointing, and a deep Western Conference means they’ll probably have great lottery odds again this summer.
But the games the Suns have won show there is definitely potential with this group. If this young team can be better than the Bucks for a night, they can work to be better than the Bucks in few years. The effort is often discouraging, but the talent is clearly there, and the four teams the Suns have beaten are a great reason to be optimistic about the future.