Phoenix Suns lost big, but so have other playoff contenders

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While the 29 point loss to Golden State on Friday night is a major blight on an otherwise surprisingly good season by the Phoenix Suns, every other Western Conference playoff contender has at least one stinker this season too.

The Phoenix Suns lost in big fashion on Friday night, by 29 points to the Golden State Warriors. After entering the season with what was widely regarding as some of the worst talent in the NBA only to surprise the league with a 17-10 record through Christmas, some might think the 29-point loss is a harbinger of bad things to come.

But if you look at the schedule across the league, most importantly in the West, you'll see a lot of blowouts up and down the line. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said last week in Phoenix that, since the new CBA, there's a lot more turnover, less depth and, as a result, occasional lopsided wins and losses by every team in the league.

Let's look at the worst losses so far by the other Western Conference playoff contenders, in order of their current conference seeding:

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder (24-5) - lost to Minnesota by 19 points
  2. Portland Trailblazers (24-5) - lost to Houston by 15, Phoenix by 13 and 14
  3. San Antonio Spurs (23-7) - lost to LA Clippers by 23
  4. Houston Rockets (20-11) - lost to Indiana by 33, LA Clippers by 19, Phoenix by 9
  5. LA Clippers (20-11) - lost to LA Lakers by 13, OKC by 14
  6. Phoenix (17-11) - lost to Golden State by 29, Memphis by 19
  7. Golden State Warriors (18-13) - lost to Memphis by 18, OKC by 21, Houston by 22, Phoenix by 4
  8. Dallas Mavericks (16-13) - lost to Sacramento by 15, Phoenix by 15

While the Suns have the second worst loss now among Western playoff contenders, only the LA Clippers have not lost by at least 15 points so far this season.

The Phoenix Suns have already beaten four of the other top seeds in the West, going 5-5 overall even including last night's stinker.

Over the first 28 games, the Suns have played the league's 6th toughest schedule to date. Only five teams have played a harder schedule, based on their opponents current collective records.

And, even after that 29 point loss to Golden State, the Suns are still 10th in ESPN's (Hollinger's) automated daily Power Rankings based on statistical analysis focusing strength of schedule, performance in last 10 games and overall offensive and defensive efficiency.

Sure, last night's loss might be a harbinger of bad things to come. But the odds are in favor of last night being an aberration. Golden State is a good team, was shooting very well, and playing in front of their home crowd.

It happens.

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