Phoenix Suns Carry Embarrassing Stat into Game vs Sacramento Kings

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings know each other all too well. Up until the 2019-20 season, both teams limped side by side through a decade’s worth of NBA seasons, as they struggled to cultivate winning basketball and instead spent their days hunting for draft capital.

Phoenix’s “bubble run” which closed out the 2019-20 season indeed split these two teams apart from each other, as the Suns started to look promising while the Kings stayed chained in their own mediocrity. But when Phoenix ripped through the Western Conference to make the NBA Finals the year after, they emphatically separated themselves from the lowly Kings.

Now resembling a team in a significantly higher class than before, the Suns no longer drive to work in the same cars, belong to the same country clubs, or dine at the same restaurants as the Kings. Onto bigger and better things, Phoenix left them behind without looking back.

But even with this considered, the Kings still enter their upcoming matchup against the Suns with more than just a chip on their shoulders. Oddly enough, the Kings own a 9-9 record against the Suns over the last five years, the second best record they have over any Western Conference team during that time period.

At first glance, this record might feel deceiving given Phoenix’s recent turnaround as a franchise. But even during their last two seasons which involved the “bubble run” and a sprint to the NBA Finals, the Suns still surrendered a 3-3 game split with the Kings. They clearly underplay when going against their former lottery-dwelling associates.

Specifically last year, the Suns also surrendered 113.7 points per game to the Kings—the third most given up by them to any Western Conference team. That essentially makes zero sense when considering how Phoenix went onto win 20 more games than Sacramento last season.

This type of play looks alien to the Suns right now, as a team that intends to snatch up their first ever NBA title this year. Rather than a group that gives away games like charity to the pitiful Kings, they need to assert their dominance, and build a winning foundation by first tackling their easiest matchups.

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With that understood, the Suns need to take care of business tonight against Sacramento. At home, with multiple rest days now behind them, and coming off a blowout loss against the Trail Blazers, no reasons exists to expect the contrary.