Phoenix Suns: 5 big awards for the season’s 1st quarter

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /
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With Saturday night’s game against Dallas completed successfully, the Phoenix Suns also heard the horn ending the first quarter of the NBA season.

The only certainty after 18 of this season’s 72 scheduled games is that there is a collection of issues left to be resolved. The questions run deeper than “Why is Abdel Nader’s first name listed in the pronunciation guide as ‘Ab-DOOL’?”

But we digress.

The Phoenix Suns navigated an uneven opening to the NBA season, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t worthy candidates for a few happy awards.

No. 5, the Average Student Award: The Phoenix Suns organization.

The optimism is not without merit. The fun is palpable.

The results? Well, fans likely would have taken 10 wins in the first 18 games before the season began.

Some continue to question coach Monty Williams’ general standing with regard to job security.

But with a 5-1 run to begin 2020-21 and a 1-5 stretch that ended Thursday night, the Suns showed their scholastic grade equivalent to be about a “B-” for the first 18 games. Adjustments to the rotation, player absences due to health protocols and the Deandre Ayton disappearances and rediscoveries punctuated the roller-coaster ride.

The Suns were a pleasure to have in class, but they also have the potential to be much better.