The Phoenix Suns are much improved over the last few seasons. But what might their record be against the Atlantic Division?
James Jones has torn the Phoenix Suns’ roster down to it’s studs and begun re-building it from scratch. No longer looking to simply add young, un-developed players, Jones has built a far more veteran-laden roster than has been had since at least 2014.
But while the team is vastly improved and looks to make significant strides over recent season’s past, so have many other team’s around the league as player movement – and that of superstars – has seemed to reach an all-time high.
The Suns may be just as far away from the playoffs this coming season as they have the last four years, and yet they might literally be the most improved team in the league.
But are they that far away from the playoffs? Is there really zero chance that they can sneak in as the eight-seed?
It would take a lot of luck and the Monty Williams offense/defense to be picture perfect, but on paper, aside from the bonafied superstar names that populate much of the rest of the Western Conference, the Suns would be considered a potential playoff team – if they weren’t the Suns.
What I mean by that is, let’s say that this offseason the Phoenix Suns’ roster was swapped perfectly with the San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich and the Spurs organization has built up such credit in league circles that many would predict that a core of Ricky Rubio, Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre, Dario Saric, and Deandre Ayton could be a playoff team.
And yet because that core is in Phoenix, with an organization that has won a total of 87 games over the past four years (although the vast majority of the players and coaches that pulled the franchise down over that period are now gone, replaced by veterans who have had success elsewhere), the Suns are often given zero chance to make the playoffs from fans and talking heads around the league (and even from much of their fan base).
Even though we have no idea what their schedule is yet, we can at least do a loose prediction of head-to-head match ups.
I will look at this by Division with a brief summary of gains and losses by each team, how the Suns fared against them last season (which at this point is generally irrelevant), and a prediction of the possible head-to-head record.