The system failed the Phoenix Suns in Orlando

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns did everything they could in the NBA restart but never got a chance to actually make the playoffs.

When the NBA released their plans for their restart, most people were unsure about how it would actually work, or if it would even happen. For a long time, it was in question as to whether the Phoenix Suns would even be invited to continue at all. Though, as games started being played, flaws in the system began to emerge.

Only allowing the ninth seed the chance at a play-in game was the biggest problem with the format. The NBA did not seem to account for the possibility that the Grizzlies would perform as badly as they did in the bubble. It turned out to be very easy to get within four games of Memphis, the hard part for teams was getting into the ninth spot.

It is easy to say that the Suns should have won more games and played better the first 60 or so games of the season (they should have!); that was not the advertised point of the bubble. If a team had already played bad enough to not make the playoffs, their punishment was not being invited to get the opportunity.

Also. What are the Suns' lottery odds?. light

The seeding game format was a disadvantage for the Phoenix Suns.

The purpose of the play-in game was to make up for the fact that there was going to be a shortened season, meaning teams had less time to try and climb the playoff standings. The NBA either did not account for teams having played as many as three more games than each other when entering the bubble.

The Suns, Spurs, and Grizzlies all finished with the same amount of losses as the Blazers, 39. However, because they did not get a chance to play those extra games, they missed out. And for the Grizzlies, that one game knocked them down to the nine seed meaning they had to beat the Blazers in back-to-back elimination games just because they had one less regular-season opportunity.

This all is not to say that the Suns should or shouldn’t be in the playoffs, because it is too hard to tell. In a normal year, the regular season would have been twice the length of the bubble. All of this is the say that the system the NBA did choose to put in place to try and replicate that regular season failed in that aspect and in turn hurt the Phoenix Suns more than any other team.

It is impossible to say that the Suns would have made the playoffs had the bubble/regular season extended to the normal length (I would say yes). That is something that does not have to be hypothetical in the future if the NBA adopts this play-in game format. That way a team like the Suns will not be let down by it like they were this year.

Next. 2020 NBA Mock Draft. dark