Phoenix Suns: Why the Suns Should Not Panic After Slow Start

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports /

Triples fell down onto the Phoenix Suns like cannon fire last night, as the Portland Trail Blazers rolled over them en route to a 134-105 victory. Playing the latter portion of their first back-to-back sequence this year, the Valley Boys looked gassed, as Portland’s superior energy drowned them out from tipoff until the final buzzer.

CJ McCollum led the way for Rip City, pouring out 28 points while going 6-11 from downtown. His team behind him also out-rebounded the Suns by a +10 margin. For Phoenix, Devin Booker led the team as a scorer, but only with a loose 21 points.

It all led to Phoenix’s second loss across their first three games. Although the Suns cruised to a commanding win over the Los Angeles Lakers the night prior, Phoenix also lost their opener against the Denver Nuggets, struggling to protect the rock and connect on open jumpers.

But even with this dark cloud represented by their disappointing record having formed above the desert during these last few days, it seems more likely to pass, rather than develop into a full-blown storm.

With all the craziness which ensued last year, it might feel difficult to remember how Phoenix started its 2020-21 season. But looking back, the Suns also began that campaign in lackluster fashion, going 8-8 across their first few weeks. We all know how successful that season eventually became, which warrants no reason for fans or players to freak out now.

Additionally, the Suns entered their 2020-21 campaign with significantly lower expectations. Today’s Phoenix team represents a group with championship aspirations, but going into last year, a playoff berth alone would have likely satisfied Suns fans.

With the team having gained more notoriety ahead this year, they simultaneously gained a more high-caliber schedule to begin their season, naturally making their competition much more difficult than during years past.

Playing the Nuggets, Lakers, and then Trail Blazers, the Suns took on three Western Conference powerhouses, and oddly enough, snatched their lone win against the team picked by most to dethrone them in the West this year.

Last season, the Suns opened up against the Dallas Mavericks, but then played two games against the lowly Sacramento Kings. The Suns clearly attained a much more difficult schedule to begin their campaign this time around, which absolutely puts something of an asterisk over their 1-2 record.

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Phoenix’s two quick loses at this point are not “good” by any means. But the panic button still needs to not only remain untouched, but stay sealed in a box and locked in closet. Stick to the game plan, and trust Monty Williams, and all will work itself out.