A moment of reflection on the 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The future is very bright, but occasionally it is nice for Phoenix Suns fans to take a moment to look back.

The Phoenix Suns are not likely to make the playoffs. I hate to say that, but we all know that it is more than likely the case. The schedule is steep; the margin of error too small. Even if they were to make the playoffs, a swift exit at the hands of the Lakers would be eminent. Wow, that was painful to type. OK, so with that being said, what positives are there to take away from this?

First, we have to look at the marked improvement that Phoenix has had this season. Let’s not get it twisted, the Suns are in a much better position now at this juncture (whatever this “juncture” would be) than they were last season. Devin Booker became a legitimate All-Star this year. The Suns had a starting point guard this season in Ricky Rubio that could, you know, actually play point guard at a high level.

It’s safe to say that this season’s positives far outweigh the negatives that have befallen the Suns.

Kelly Oubre Jr. came through as a reliable piece and even found himself settling in as a comfortable second option for stretches of the year. Cam Johnson had his moments as well, and although he didn’t detract all doubters, he did come through as a capable rotation player at times. These are all encouraging signs for a team that did not have any of these positives last season.

Of course, the negatives were there as well. Injuries struck early and often. An early suspension to Deandre Ayton derailed the Suns, hot off the heels of a great opening night win. There were players such as Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky who didn’t quite perform the way many had hoped. All of these factors played a role in where the Suns currently are right now, on the outside looking in at the postseason.

And yet, again we have to look at last year. If such a unique situation as now existed last season, the Suns would be one of those eight teams who didn’t even have to imagine taking the journey to Orlando. I mean they would be very comfortably out of consideration to extend their season.

As crazy as this may come off, even if it is unlikely that Phoenix earns the playoff berth, the fact that they are even able to play for an opportunity speaks volumes. Seriously. This is the first time that the Suns have had games to play that actually matter this late in the season in over 10 years.

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10 long years. That is a long time of sadness, anger, and seasons ended much too early. Let me throw out some names here and invite you to take a short walk down a lonely memory lane with me. Aaron Brooks. Hedo Turkoglu. Shannon Brown. Michael Beasley. Wesley Johnson. The Morii. Archie Goodwin. Alex Len. Marquese Chriss. Josh Jackson.

Those players were just some of the many that Phoenix Suns fans have had to support, defend, prop up, and hope against hope that they would be part of the next great Suns team. (Ok, maybe not Wesley Johnson). Regardless of how this season plays out, one can look at the roster assembled here, and see the pieces that have the potential to be on the next contending Suns team.

If nothing else, let’s take a moment and appreciate what we were able to witness this season. Of course, this is by no means is it where we want to be. However, it is truly so much better than where Suns fans were in the past.

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