By Alina Nelson
PHOENIX – In the midst of a pandemic, that Phoenix Suns have given Arizona sports fan just what they need:
A winning team.
Their two losses in a row – their first double defeat since January – does not reflect how the team has played this season. They rank in the Top 10 in scoring with 114.3 points per game and sit only two games behind the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference with a 42-18 record.
They lost all four of their preseason games but quickly turned their momentum around in their first regular season game against the Dallas Mavericks, winning 106-102.
A large part of the team’s success is thanks to Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker and Chris Paul. The much improved Ayton has a field goal percentage of 62.6%, while Booker leads the team in points per game with 25.3.
Chris Paul, who is in his 16th NBA season but first with the Suns, has been a standout, averaging 8.7 assists per game and a free throw percentage of 92.8%. Last Monday night, Chris Paul passed Magic Johnson on the all-time assists list, putting him in fifth place.
With their strong regular season performance so far, optimism is high that the team could make a deep run in the postseason, easing the heartbreak of fans after last season’s mixed emotions conclusion.
Despite finishing as the only undefeated team in the bubble with an 8-0 record, the Suns just missed the playoffs, losing a head-to-head tiebreaker to the Memphis Grizzlies.
It appears the Suns have built off the energy they found in the bubble last season, and a strong postseason run looks promising. The Suns’ last postseason appearance was in 2010 when they lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.
After losing their last two games, the Suns are looking for a win tonight against the New York Knicks in their last game of a five-game road trip.