What would constituent a “successful” win total for the Phoenix Suns?

Police found casino instruments and Tk 1 lakh from Mohammedan Sporting Club, Arambagh Krira Sangha, Dilkusha Sporting Club and Victoria Sporting Club in the city's Motijheel area on 22 September 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo by Sony Ramany/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Police found casino instruments and Tk 1 lakh from Mohammedan Sporting Club, Arambagh Krira Sangha, Dilkusha Sporting Club and Victoria Sporting Club in the city's Motijheel area on 22 September 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo by Sony Ramany/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

One Sportsbook has the Phoenix Suns winning 9.5 more games than last season, placing them at approximately 29 wins. But would that make this season successful?

The Phoenix Suns are coming off of a 19 win season in which if something could go wrong, it did.

But with a brand new head coach, a solidified front office with a specific plan of action moving forward, and a nearly entirely re-built roster (the only holdovers from 2018-19 being Elie Okobo, Mikal Bridges, Tyler Johnson, Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre, and Deandre Ayton), one would have to imagine that the franchise will take a step forward.

Without going into the debate of “is a 9.5 win improvement over last season enough?”, let us instead ask, “what would constitute a “successful” regular season record for the franchise who has won a total of 86 games in the last four years?

Certainly one things needs to be thrown out right away: while making the playoffs should  be the marker of a successful year, for the Phoenix Suns, baby steps is really the name of the game, especially in the uber-stacked Western Conference.

Now, if Deandre Ayton takes a significant step forward over his already successful rookie year and becomes a highly impactful star, maybe  – if healthy overall – the team actually could make a run at the playoffs with Devin Booker already at star status.

But even then it just might be too far-fetched.

So, with proper expectations, would just losing  less than 60 wins make for a successful season?

23-59 is a record the franchise has had in the recent past, but is only a four-game improvement over last year.

How about winning 9.5 more than last year as FD Sportsbook has predicted?

That would place the Suns at 28.5 wins. Obviously they cannot win .5 games, so lets us round up slighly and say that the Phoenix wins 10 games more this coming season than last, jumping for 19 to 29-53. Is that a successful year?

If a team jumps from 43 to 53 wins, or 47 to 57, over the course of two years, that’s super successful. But what about for a team who won 19?

Either way, a ten-win improvement in which the team still loses over 50 games, on paper just does not feel “successful.”

So what then if they either lost less than 50 games, or won at least 30?

To begin with, while 30 wins on the surface is an okay improvement over last season (11 wins) and would mark the first time the franchise won at least 30 games since 2014-15, it is still a 50+ loss season.

That could hypothetically  be considered as a “success,” but is 30 wins, with an entirely new coaching staff and much more veteran-laden and talented roster really all that can be expected (it is only one win greater too than the FD Sportsbook predicted)?

So what then if they lost fewer  than 50 games?

33-49 would be a jump of 14 wins (which in turn means 14 fewer losses than a year ago), and while that would still place them 16 games below .500, that might feel like a successful year – especially if the majority of the still 49 losses are not necessarily blowouts.

But for many fans – especially those of us who are particularly  over this franchise being God awful,  just losing fewer  than 50 games isn’t really all that successful.

Plus, if the team isn’t blown out very much but they still lose a number of close games, shouldn’t that mean that since they were good enough to get close, they therefore should have won  more often?

Alright, so then what about 10 games below .500, reaching the somehow rolls-off-the-tongue record of 36-46 record.

Not great, but still pretty good.

Basically: okay.

Ten games below .500 would be quite the improvement for a franchise who has averaged  38.5 games below even for the last four years.

That would also mean that the team made a 17-game improvement over last season’s record, a hefty leap from one year to another.

What then if Phoenix managed to leap up to 40 wins – or even break even and win 41?

That would have  to be considered successful, right?

I don’t care about the number of losses, 40-41 wins for a team who has only won 40 game combined  over the previous two seasons would be a huge  jump, and would mean that the Suns actually upset a number of teams they weren’t supposed to beat.

Then, with the right improvements in the 2020 offseason, they should  be set up for a playoff run come 2021.

Of course, success is entirely in the eye of the beholder for Phoenix Suns fans.

For some, only a trip to the playoffs would denote a successful season, regardless of the extremely unliklihood of such a venture and the team’s overall regular season record.

For the ultimate pessimist, a ten-game improvement is a “success” as they still do not expect much from this team because, hey – they’re the Phoenix Suns and Robert Sarver is still the owner.

For others, the ability for the team to break a specific threshold like losing fewer than 50 games or breaking either the 30 win or 40 win mark will do it.

Next. Don Buse was a preseason Nostra-Don-us. dark

Regardless of where you fall in these categories, for the Phoenix Suns to at least take a step forward, break out of the doldrums of the bottom-feeders in the league, and not end the season with all eyes on the top of the lottery, that alone should be enough to garner looking at the 2019-20 season as a “success.”