We're in the stretch run and I can't see us losing more than 3-4 games. That should put our record at 52-30 or 53-29 by the time the season is over.
Every time we've entered the playoffs in this Nash era I always had an ideal of how far we could go and I was usually right up until the 08 season(I was a 100% sure we could be the Spurs that year). I believed I knew the team very well and that I could say how confident they were and how confident I was in them. However, this year is different. It's been so up and down I that I can't really say how good we are; I don't really know. Sometimes we look like contenders and sometimes we don't. Our team as of late has been playing well and Gentry has said this is who we are. Even than I still don't really know what to expect from this team in the playoffs?
Maybe if we look at every match-up to see how well we fare against the other playoff teams we could get a better ideal of just how good we really are.
Injuries have hurt them all season long. They no longer have Blake because they traded him for Camby who got hurt. They're a good team that can give us fits. However, despite their 2-0 lead over us in the season series I am confident enough to say that we could beat them. It would take us 6 games, but we could beat them. Just remember that these guys have yet to win a playoff series and still don't have much playoff experience.
Always a great match-up when we play these guys. In the past they've always had a tough time containing Amar'e. Now they have Haywood who has turned them into a great team that can seriously challenge the Lakers. I'm not so sure what to make of these Mavs though. We really can't put any stock in the 1st two games because us and the Mavs are a different team since then. In the last game they took a 20 point lead, we came back, but couldn't get a defensive stop at the end. We did miss a ton of open threes that we usually make though. In a potential playoff series they would have the home-court advantage, but it wouldn't matter. It never does when the Suns and Mavs play each other. We've had some of our most memorable wins against these guys on the road in the playoffs, so it doesn't matter. With that said I think we could take them to 7 games, but I'm not so sure we could win. That is how confident I feel against these Mavs.
I know Kevin Durant is a scary player to play against because his length gives us problems, but I don't fear the Thunder. They have no playoff experience. For a team that was suppose to suck this season they will be glad just to be in the playoffs. No way they get past the 1st round. We could beat them in 5 games. I'd be surprised if it took us 6. I don't think home-court would matter in a potential series.
Well, last time I said we could beat these guys they beat us pretty badly, so I won't say anything. However, I will say that the chances of us beating the Spurs in a playoff series this year are greater than they were in any other year of the Nash era. Does that make you feel better?
In all honesty I kind of don't want to play these guys for a couple of reasons. Boozer, Okur and Milsap may not be good interior defenders, but they're big and like to crash the boards. Their physical play gives us problems. Second, I live in Utah and the Energy Solutions Arena is loud and it only gets louder in the playoffs. In order to beat these guys in Utah in the playoffs you have to have beaten them in Utah in the regular season to have the confidence to beat them in Utah in the playoffs. Does that make sense to you? We haven't done that yet. Home-court advantage will matter in this match-up. If we have it than I think we win in 7 games. If we don't than I don't think our chances are good. However, I will point out that Utah is the one team out of all the playoff teams that Amar'e can go off for 30 in each game. At least that is comforting to know.
Seems like everybody on this website believes they are our best match-up. I agree. Hill and Dudley have done a decent job on Carmelo. Lou usually picks up his game every time we go up against them. We've won in Denver; in fact we blew them out there, so home-court advantage wouldn't matter. However, I feel that too many Suns fans underestimate the fact that they think they can win a Championship. I have a hard time imagining that a team like them will lose in the 1st round. I'd be more comfortable playing these guys in the semis. I think we could beat them in 6 games, maybe 7.
I won't put too much stock in the first three games because they were all very early in the season and we are a different team since then. However, our last game was very similar to the last Mavs game. They took a 15 point lead, but we came back. Bynum and Gasol gave us problems, but Amar'e and Lou gave them problems. It felt good to know that we could compete with these guys despite not being able to hit our shots. Kobe has done a very good job defending J-Rich in all 4 games. I don't expect J-Rich to have a good serious against LA in the playoffs because of this. Their length gives us problems, but we can still compete with them. I don't think we could beat them. I believe we would win two games at the least and maybe take them to 7 games. I just don't feel this team is ready to beat the Lakers. Lopez and Dragic are young and inexperienced. I'm not sure how they would fare against LA.
Lets compare us to the East contenders.
If we played these guys in the Finals we would win only one game. We just don't match-up that well with them at all. No one can guard Lebron. It doesn't help us either that they now have Jamison. They are good team defensively and they can rebound the ball. They can play fast or slow. They are our worst nightmare. We have a better shot at beating LA than we do these guys. If we somehow through some miracle made the Finals; Cleveland is the one team I wouldn't want to face.
If we played them in the Finals we'd win one of the first two games on the road. I guarantee it. We'd win all three games at home as well. Yes, we'd beat them in 5 games. That is how confident I am in our team against Orlando. We match-up well with them. Amar'e for some reason has always out-played Dwight Howard. I am not afraid of the Magic.
We would beat them in 6-7 games. We match-up well with them. It would be a fun series. I believe we are a better team than them.
Two years ago these guys looked immortal. Now they look like a team that will struggle just to make the semis. In fact they struggle against fast paced teams like us. We are their worst nightmare in an unlikely finals match-up. Not to mention J-Rich is a Boston killer and he would go off for 30 in this series.
There you have it. That is how confident I feel against all of these teams. Now let me sum this up. We can compete with anyone in the Western Conference, however, the chances of us beating the Jazz without the Home-court advantage aren't good. The chances of us beating LA and Dallas are small, but we do have a shot. We can beat anyone else. We can beat all the contenders out East except for the Cavs. In fact the Cavs are the one team on this list who I said we can't compete with. Just imagine if Phoenix was in the Eastern Conference; we'd be the 2nd seed! With all of this said are we not contenders? If the Suns can compete with all the Western teams than doesn't that make them contenders? There have been teams with only 40+ wins that have won Championships in NBA history. What does it take to be a contender? Can somebody give me a list of requirements?
Well, I still don't know. I won't call us a contender, but I won't say that we aren't a contender. I will say this though. Going into the season my expectations of the Suns were to win 50 games at the least and win one playoff series and go as far as they can go from there on out. Just because it would feel good. Just because Grant has yet to get past the 1st round. Just because it might persuade Amar'e to stay one more year. If they accomplish that I will be satisfied with this season. That's something I couldn't say about the last two seasons. I believe this goal is realistic and I believe these Suns can do that. That is how confident I am in this team so, how confident are you in these Phoenix Suns?