It’s a clean sweep for the Phoenix Suns in this week’s NBA power rankings.
Amazing, not only for the season they’ve had but for the respect they’re being shown.
The Phoenix Suns dominated the NBA power rankings, becoming a consensus No. 1, with a strong week that included wins over the Clippers and Jazz.
They avoided a loss in a trap game at OKC, and head for Cleveland and Atlanta next before hosting the New York Knicks and visiting the Lakers to close this week.
Entering Monday’s games, the Suns and Jazz were tied at the top of the West, with Phoenix owning the tiebreaker. The rankings this week speak highly of coach Monty Williams‘ crew, and the leadership from Devin Booker and emerging MVP candidate Chris Paul.
ESPN.com NBA power rankings: Phoenix Suns are No. 1.
After sliding to No. 3 on last week’s list, Phoenix showed some staying power with back-to-back big victories.
With their playoff spot already clinched, the only thing left to decide for the Suns is seeding. And Phoenix is shooting for the stars. The Suns have their eyes on the top overall seed. If the Suns can beat out the Jazz and take the No. 1 overall seed into the playoffs, it will be the first time they’ve done so since 2005, when they were ousted in the conference finals. (Phoenix also secured the No. 1 overall seed in 1981 and 1993.)
The Suns’ roadie at the Lakers on Sunday night should be filled with intrigue because of LA’s continued injury troubles.
NBA.com power rankings: Phoenix Suns are No. 1.
When comparing the resume’s last week among the NBA’s elite contenders, it’s tough to put Phoenix anywhere but No. 1. NBA.com addressed the much-talked-about topic of experience.
The Suns’ core will be a relatively inexperienced group in the playoffs, with four of Phoenix’s top six guys having never tasted the postseason. But they had three games last week that had a little more juice than normal regular season games, and they won all three, scoring more than 124 points per 100 possessions against the top-10 defenses of the Knicks, Clippers and Jazz.
Chris Paul was expectedly exceptional, shooting 23-for-36 (including 15-for-21 on non-restricted-area 2s) and putting both the Knicks and Clippers away with a flurry of pull-up jumpers. But Devin Booker also displayed his big-game chops, especially in the first half on Monday, when the rest of the Suns didn’t have much going against the Knicks. Booker averaged 28.3 points over the three games, Mikal Bridges shot 19-for-28, and Deandre Ayton hung in defensively.
And home court throughout the playoffs is going to be a big deal if Paul, Booker and the Suns can finish No. 1.
Bleacher Report NBA power rankings: Phoenix Suns are No. 1.
BR pushed Phoenix all the way to the top from No. 4 last week.
Chris Paul has jumped into the MVP conversation with his play down the stretch of close games. He scored the final seven points in their win over the Knicks and helped to seal the win over the Clippers. Paul’s 1.6 points in games with a three-point differential with three minutes leads the Suns. His veteran presence keeps Phoenix steady in those situations. Devin Booker is right behind him with 1.5 points; those two combining for 3.2 points is a great duo to have in close games.
The Suns now own not just the top spot of the power rankings but the best record in the NBA. The one thing that may trip up Phoenix is that six of their eight remaining games are on the road.
The Suns’ final standing may depend on how much the San Antonio Spurs want, or need, those final two games vs. Phoenix.
CBS Sports NBA power rankings: Phoenix Suns are No. 1.
Yep, that’s a clean sweep — for the first time, ever, we’d assume (given that ubiquitous “power rankings” weren’t readily available in 1993 or 1994).
Up from No. 2 last week, the Suns lead the way for CBS.
The Suns beat the Knicks, Clippers, Jazz and Thunder this week and, ironically, the closest game was against OKC. That’s enough to get them to the top spot in this week’s Power Rankings, behind 29.3 points per game from Devin Booker. Chris Paul has legitimately entered the MVP conversation — whatever that means — putting up 19.5 points and nine assists this week on 61 percent shooting from the field.
The site added, “What a year.” No doubt about that.