Phoenix Suns Early Record Almost Guarantees Trip Back to NBA Finals

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

For all Phoenix Suns fans, make sure to knock on wood before reading this. There is no such thing as being too careful, especially when dealing with something as crazy and unpredictable as the NBA.

But with jinxes and superstitions already accounted for, it feels safe to acknowledge how flawless the Suns look right now—and their season’s trajectory based on what history tells us.

Currently sitting with a 12-3 record, only the Golden State Warriors own a better winning percentage than the Valley Boys. If the playoffs began today, the Western Conference’s second seed again goes to the Suns, setting them up for a clash with the play-in tournament’s first survivor.

With this season only one month old today, looking that far ahead feels like a fool’s errand. The Suns do not want to take too large a bite here, and end up choking on their own food. Instead, they prefer to stay focused and take things one game at a time, while staying confident all the same.

Leaning more on the confidence-building side of that equation though, the Suns do not need to look very far in finding a reason to feel strongly about themselves. When paging through the league’s history books, it becomes clear that their start to the season not only endorses them as a playoff team, but one bound to make the NBA Finals once again.

Over the last decade, the best 15-game starts to a season by a former NBA Finals team include the following:

  • 2015-16 Golden State Warriors (15-0)
  • 2016-17 Cleveland Cavaliers (13-2)
  • 2016-17 Golden State Warriors (13-2)
  • 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs (13-2)
  • 2012-22 Phoenix Suns (12-3)
  • 2018-19 Golden State Warriors (12-3)
  • 2013-14 Miami Heat (12-3)
  • 2012-13 Miami Heat (12-3)

We do not know how Phoenix’s season will go from here, but every other team above returned to the Finals after making those starts, certainly presenting the Suns as a likely squad to do the same. For what it’s worth, the 2012-13 Heat, 2013-14 Spurs, and the 2016-17 Warriors all ended winning the championship after those starts as well.

But even for those who especially want to avoid getting too far ahead of themselves, this start for the Suns must feel encouraging when addressing the team’s resiliency alone.

It might feel impossible to remember at this point, but the Suns started their season looking hungover from the year before, stumbling into a 1-3 start. The team’s current upsurge not only looks impressive in its own right, but even more so when considering how Phoenix needed to turn things around beforehand.

Still riding an 11-game win streak, the Suns next play the Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets to round out their first 20 games.

Suns are the Most Clutch Team in the NBA. dark. Next

The 2015-15 Warriors did not lose until their 25th game, so surpassing them remains impossible for this year’s Suns. However, if Phoenix manages to keep winning and take down all those teams, they move into a tie for the second best 20-game start with the 2016-17 Warriors—who as mentioned earlier, indeed ended up winning it all.