The Phoenix Suns spent the entire offseason putting themselves in an excellent position to win a first ever NBA Championship. Owner Mat Ishbia sparing no expense in putting together a lavish coaching staff, and three superstar players in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.
Already we have examined the merits of the Suns going all the way with this group, and it is a compelling argument. If that seems like a bridge too far for you, then the prospect of winning the Western Conference should at least be something you take into consideration.
There is another, less optimistic way of looking at this Phoenix Suns team however, with the prospect of coming up short again a strong possibility.
The Suns may be viewed by many as one of the true favorites to win a title, but it would be fair to say they don’t look to be built for the regular season. It is all well and good saying you can beat anybody in a seven game series, but you have to get to that point healthy first.
The Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets are all viewed by most betting sites as teams who have better odds than the Suns, and it will be up to the organization to prove everybody wrong. They have a great opportunity to do so, but these three reasons will ultimately be their undoing if they come to fruition.
3. They struggle defensively
It has already been well established that the Suns may well go on to be the best offensive group in the history of the league this coming season. With Booker and Durant getting double-teamed often, Beal may be the most open and lethal third option since Ray Allen was in the league.
The other side of that coin sadly, will be how porous the group could be on the other end. To the credit of the front office, they went out and got a defensive savant in the form of Frank Vogel to take the lead. But he alone is not going to be able to get stops for this group.
Jusuf Nurkic might not look as bad as advertized right now, but staying on the court and having an impact on the defensive end each night will be an issue. The front office has brought back or added players like Josh Okogie, Keita Bates-Diop, Eric Gordon and Chimezie Metu to try and help.
But with a big man rotation of Nurkic, Drew Eubanks, Metu, Bol Bol and Durant on occasion, that group is one injury away from really struggling. The idea of Durant defending elite big men is a concern as well. The Suns will outscore most opponents – but if the defending is considerably below average – they can kiss goodbye to their title aspirations.