FanPost

Define "Championship Contender"




I'm new to the site and just stumbled across it recently. I wanted to try writing a FanPost, and I decided to do it on a topic that has been haunting my deepest, darkest NBA thoughts while watching the Playoffs. In the near future, will the Suns ever be a true "Title Contender"? What does it take to be classified as a Title/Championship contender? I took a look at this years final 4 and past winners to see what the Suns need to become a "Contender" in the near future.

Superstar/Leader

Aside from the Spurs, the team with the most depth in the NBA (and crazy Greg Popovich games were players like Patty Mills play 40 minutes), every team still alive in the playoffs has a player in the top 12 in scoring. Even the Spurs, who don't have a player that scores the bulk of the points every night, have great leaders in Tim Duncan and Tony Parker who can be trusted late in games, and an amazing all-around player in Kwahi Leonard. The Suns current roster does not feature an unquestioned vocal, scoring or defensive leader. Goran Dragic was the closest thing they had to a scoring leader, and he did well. The problem is that Goran is a point guard. No team to win a championship in the last ten years has had a point guard or a center as their leading scorer. You could say that Dragic is a shooting guard, but let's face it, the Suns are starting two point guards. Bledsoe is 6'1 and Dragic is 6'3 (and that might be generous). I don't think Phoenix will ever fit the contender criteria with two point guards being our best scorers.

Lock Down Defenders

For the Suns to become a truly scary team, they need players who can stop kind of almost slow players like LeBron, KD and Westbrook down. Honestly, who on this team could guard LeBron? Who would try? PJ didn't do a real great job last time against Bron (LeBron 37 points, 9 boards). Tucker is an okay defender, but being a 6'6 small forward, he has no chance against LeBron (6'8) or Durant (6'9). Not to mention that he is neither as strong or as fast as those two star forwards. Though I hate to say it, Phoenix probably needs to get an upgrade over Tucker to become a contender. They would also need a good rim protector.

Deep Bench

You may say that the Suns have a good bench, but then you look at San Antonio's bench and realize their second team is better than the Phoenix starters. The Spurs actually beat us playing those bench players. They actually came from way behind to win that game. They actually all but knocked us out of the playoffs. Too soon? Yeah.... too soon... I'm going to move on before I start banging my head against the wall.

Doug McDermott, Adrien Payne, Pau Gasol, and.......

Okay, those players may not be essential to deep playoff runs, but they would be nice. Thanks for reading!

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