ESPN survey has Phoenix Suns second favourite to win the West

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

A Phoenix Suns rise saw them take out the Western Conference title in 2021, before falling in the 2022 playoffs following a dominant regular season.

The franchise now enters 2022-23 hoping to get back the NBA Finals, aspiring to avenge their respective losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks across the last two postseasons.

The Phoenix Suns are equal second favourites to win the NBA’s Western Conference, according to a new survey by ESPN.

ESPN recently undertook a survey of 15 league executives, coaches and scouts, asking them a myriad of important questions prior to the season. Of course, one of these referred to who would win the respective conferences and the NBA championship.

Phoenix received three votes to win the West, equal second with last season’s NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. With a returning Kawhi Leonard and a deeply talented roster, eight panel members believe the Los Angeles Clippers will win a maiden conference title.

An important factor will be how the Suns manage a 37-year-old Chris Paul as the season progresses. The veteran point-guard has been an invaluable contributor to the Suns growth over the last two seasons, but has suffered from injury and form issues during each of the playoff runs.

"“Assuming there’s been some massaging of the Ayton situation, they should be good,” one panelist said. “They’ve shown they can win some of the games when [Chris Paul] is not available, and if Chris is healthy, they’ll be really, really good when it matters.”"

Next. Phoenix Suns young core ranked highly among rival teams. dark

The three panelists clearly believe the Suns will lose the NBA Finals should they advance though, with the franchise not receiving any votes to win the title. The Clippers received five votes, the Bucks and Boston Celtics each received four, while the Warriors received two.