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Phoenix Suns have league’s toughest schedule in December

The Suns may not enjoy the holidays very much.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The struggle is real. And for those of you who want the Suns playoff dreams dashed sooner than later, this might just be the perfect month for you.

Unfortunately, it could also be the month Suns rookie coach Earl Watson loses his cool, considering how salty he’s already become from the mounting losses of a 6-13 team. Earl might want to give George Karl a call, or even Hubie Brown, to ask how they handled the piling losses.’s John Schuhmann is great with maths and excel spreadsheets. Yesterday, he shared his analysis of every Western Conference team’s December schedule.

The Suns opponents in December have the highest winning percentage, average offensive rating and average net margin of any team in the West. And after starting the season with 11 of 15 on the road, the Suns are still on the road more than at home this month too.

Here’s the gauntlet:

Not a single easy win in the bunch, considering the Suns have lost 1,000 in a row or something to the lowly Sixers.

We can only hope that, if the Suns win only one game in December, it’s the December 11 matchup at home against the Pelicans.

Home highlights are more like HomeCOMING highlights:

  • Bright Side Night! December 11 vs. Pelicans, where former coach Alvin Gentry brings The Brow and his band of merry men to his former valley haunts.
  • Horny Night! December 13 vs. the Knicks, where former coach Jeff Hornacek brings the Melo and the Zinger back to the Valley to extract his revenge
  • Pringles Night! December 21 vs. the Rockets, where former coach Mike D’Antoni brings The Beard and his three-happy offensive juggernaut back to the valley to prove he can still coach

That’s three of the Suns last four coaches all returning to the Valley to lay waste to their former team. Only poor Lindsey Hunter is without a new team at this time.

Every one of those former Suns coaches brought 48+ wins in at least one season, and two of them brought one or more Conference Finals appearances.


By the end of December, you all may finally get to see Watson throw in the towel and give Tyler Ulis, Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss, T.J. Warren, Alex Len and Devin Booker most of the minutes for the rest of the season as we turn our attention to the hopefully-loaded 2017 Draft.

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