The Phoenix Suns were without All-Star Devin Booker all week and played to mixed results but solidifying their standing among NBA power rankings.
Booker, whose All-Star status will be determined likely when the coaches vote on the reserves, was questionable to play on Monday night in Dallas.
The NBA power rankings show the Phoenix Suns were not buried by the absence of Devin Booker, beating the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks after opening the week with a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The brief recap of the three games:
- Chris Paul almost rescued the Suns in a rough loss to the Thunder, scoring 32 points.
- Paul received plenty of help — including a near-triple-double from Frank Kaminsky — in the victory over the Warriors.
- The Suns were successfully rescued by Paul’s leadership during a second-half rally to top the Mavericks.
ESPN’s power rankings: Phoenix Suns #10
Despite the strong late-week showing, the Suns dropped one spot (the Indiana Pacers moved up a notch to No. 9) as Devin Booker continued to rehab is hamstring injury. The spotlight fell on Chris Paul, whose three games did not go unnoticed, especially Saturday’s victory over Dallas.
"The Suns’ win on Saturday over the Mavericks featured a vintage Chris Paul performance. Paul registered 29 points and 12 assists and did most of his damage in the fourth quarter. He had 16 points and five assists in the final stanza alone; it was only the third time in Paul’s career he has had at least 15 points and five assists in a fourth quarter…"
According to ESPN Stats and Info, the last time he’d accomplished this feat was 2008. He’s still got it.
Bleacher Report power rankings: Phoenix Suns #10
Hey, so they’re a top-10 team, right? The Suns’ BR ranking was unchanged from the prior week and used the occasion to call out Mikal Bridges for hitting only 25 percent from 3-point range.
Bridges’ 3-13 overall shooting in the loss to OKC wasn’t helpful, but he hit 12 of his 22 field-goal attempts in the last two games of the week.
CBS Sports power rankings: Phoenix Suns #10
Though the No. 10 ranking is becoming monotonous, this site seems to have begun believing in the Phoenix Suns.
Last week, CBS had Phoenix at No. 14, but this week recognized that veterans Jae Crowder and Chris Paul are proving to be a great fit:
"(Chris Paul) averaged 24.7 points and seven assists this week, while Jae Crowder added 15.7 points per game on 40 percent 3-point shooting. Phoenix also made up for the lack of offensive explosiveness by playing suffocating defense, something it has consistently done all season."
NBA.com power rankings: Phoenix Suns #10
The Phoenix Suns die-hards certainly recognized the key to victory against Golden State, and John Schuhmann explains why the defensive effort and subsequent clutch play from Chris Paul led him to move Phoenix up one position this week.
Schuhmann also notes the Western Conference went 16-6 vs. the East last week and now holds a 59-37 interconference advantage.
That stat, showing the strength of the West, makes it only tougher on Devin Booker’s All-Star chances.
The Athletic power rankings, first quarter of the season: Phoenix Suns #8
According to Zach Harper at The Athletic (subscription required), there are several reasons for the Phoenix Suns’ strong start to the season — along with a few challenges.
Harper tweeted a defensive stat representation to help support his confidence in Phoenix.
This week’s schedule begins Monday night at the Dallas Mavericks. The Suns stay on the road for a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday before returning home to take on the Detroit Pistons on Friday and the Boston Celtics on Sunday.