After the Phoenix Suns trounced the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night, it is hard not to wonder if they would be the best team in the conference if they played in the East.
As the Phoenix Suns handled the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, it affirmed a lot of what is known about the Suns; but it did raise one question.
Devin Booker was once again very lethal, extremely efficient, and tremendously effective. Ricky Rubio may have played his best game as a member of the Phoenix Suns with 22 points and 12 assists on 10/16 shooting. The Suns hit a season-high 19 threes and moved the ball with a lot of pace tonight.
The Suns were HOT right from the tip, hitting their first 10 of 11 shots and got the crowd engaged.
After the game, Rubio said, “The team was ready to play,” and that was very evident from Rubio tonight; he had 7 assists in the first quarter and held a fuming hot Kyrie Irving to 17 points on 16 shot attempts.
The rookie Cameron Johnson had a season-high with 15 points and really looked comfortable tonight shooting and scoring the ball.
The enforcer, Aaron Baynes, had a quick 8 points and remained to be very effective in Deandre Ayton’s absence.
In the locker room after the game coach Monty Wlliams said, “We share the ball, we play hard, and we defend, that is who we are.”
I couldn’t agree more with Williams. The Suns had 37 assists tonight, only 7 turnovers and held the highest scoring team in the NBA to 112 points. The way this team plays should put a smile on every fan’s face because this team plays with extreme energy and passion every single night they step out on the court.
The Suns are now 2-1 against team in the East; beating the 76ers and Nets, who are playoff teams. So the theoretical question should be asked, If the Suns played in the East could they be a contender to be its best team?
The answer is, YES.
The Phoenix Suns have a team that is built to win 50 games and contend in the playoffs. The Suns sit at 6-3 right now in the dreaded West, without their second best player, Deandre Ayton.
Playing basketball in the West is a challenge every night. Playing the Lakers, Clippers, Trail-Blazers, and Nuggets all 4 times, makes for a very difficult schedule.
In the Suns’ next 3 games they play the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, both Eastern Conference teams. If the Suns win both of those games, it further proves my point.
Obviously, the Milwaukee Bucks and 76ers are the two powerhouse teams in the East. However, the Suns are deeper than the Bucks, and have more offensive fire-power than 76ers. In both cases, I think the Suns are more well-coached.
When it comes to the rest of the East, it just comes down to: the Suns are a better basketball team.
Sunday night was an example of what it would look like if the Suns played in the East, a team that will player harder, shoot better, and defend more intensely than any other team.
The Phoenix Suns proved once again tonight that they are a team that will win a bunch of games, and if they were playing in the East it would be a lot more than “a bunch.”