Phoenix Suns: 3 Mistakes the Suns Cannot Afford in NBA Finals

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Mistake #3: Failing to make the right reads

Abusing slow-footed big men is something Phoenix has been especially capable of during these playoffs. So in a way, given the right circumstances, Milwaukee could be a dream matchup for the Suns.

Coach Mike Budenholzer has been notoriously stubborn when it comes to moving away from their heavy, drop-oriented defense featuring Lopez, only having slightly adjusted it vs Atlanta when it was being taken to its absolute limit. If this matchup occurs, the Suns need to make sure Lopez is unplayable, just like the Hawks have, and to a lesser extent which the Brooklyn Nets tried to make him.

Due to the fact that Coach Bud has shown that no matter how exploitable it his, he will start the game with his original starting five, there will be opportunities to establish early leads, and early rhythms for Booker and Paul. Not doing this would be like playing with your food, seeing as Phoenix’s backcourt is possibly the most proficient in the whole league at exploiting drop bigs.

So with all due respect, put Lopez in the torture rack.

But on the occasion that Budenholzer will have Lopez slightly step up in pick-and-roll coverage, or in the scenario that they play Atlanta, Booker’s vision will have to be on high alert to prevent careless turnovers, forced shots, and constant resets to the offense.

We saw this exact scenario in the Conference Finals come during Game 2, when Zubac was slightly stepping up on screens. This visibly deterred Booker from taking his normal pull-ups, forcing him to pass back out and reset the action. As established prior, the Ayton slip-passes and lobs will be far more open in these scenarios, so it may be smart to let CP3 get more of the pick-and-roll ball handling responsibilities in this series.

In my eyes, the Suns will be favored no matter who comes out of the East, but in the words of Paul when asked about 3-1 leads, “sh** got bad real quick.”

The Suns can’t afford to ignore some of these issues from the last series, and even some season long habits. This year is too golden of an opportunity, and I for one, want to see “NBA Champion,” on the resume’s of Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

Next. How Exactly Did the Phoenix Suns Get to the NBA Finals?. dark

Cleaning these things up is the best way to assure that though.

Suns in 4.