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ESPN ranks Suns low on ‘watchability’

Sounds like Zach Lowe doesn’t get NBA League Pass so he can watch the Phoenix games.

Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Zach Lowe of ESPN is not high on the entertainment value of your Phoenix Suns.

In his 2017 edition of the NBA League Pass Rankings, Lowe has the Suns at #27, fourth from the bottom.

He kind of, sort of hedges his bets though. On Phoenix:

This is too low for a team sporting a militia of interesting prospects, a pure hot-hand gunner who scored 70 points in one game, and a bulldog point guard who was so good last season the tanktastic Suns sent him home. (Eric Bledsoe looms as one of the season's most interesting trade pieces.) But the ranking system knows the Suns are too young to play the style -- part Spurs, part Blazers -- Earl Watson envisions, and that Watson may not be the coach to coax them there.

It knows that a lot of those prospects -- Alex Len, Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss, even the slithery TJ Warren -- haven't really shown the kind of skills that contribute to winning. Still: They carry the whiff of intrigue. Chriss is a 20-year-old jumping bean, and Bender is still a teenager; they will get better, though Chriss possibly outgrowing his "Which way did he go?" cluelessness on defense hurts the comedy score. We will miss Alan "Big Sauce" Williams and his bench antics as he recovers from injury. Sad Brandon Knight is just sad at this point, in street clothes for the season with a torn left ACL.

At least the purple is back in both the uniforms and the court design. The blocky, shadowed lettering on the jerseys is cartoonish, but that sunburst on the belt buckle is a perfect subtle touch.

And let's give one final salute to Steve Albert, Phoenix's longtime play-by-play guy who retired after last season. He inserted biting wit into every broadcast. Kevin Ray is a ready replacement, and Eddie Johnson, his partner, pulls no punches.

If this season is like seasons past, I will watch more Suns games than I miss until the NBA All-Star break. After that I will miss more than I watch. I can count on two hands the number of regular season games I will watch that do not involve the Suns. Yes, I pay for League Pass for that privilege.

What do you think of Lowe’s rankings, and how do you prefer to consume Phoenix Suns basketball?

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