When: 3:00 PM AZ Time
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Watch: Fox Sports Arizona Plus
Listen: 98.7 FM
Tonight, the 2016-17 Phoenix Suns will step foot on their home court to play an NBA game for the last time this season.
This has been another tough season for Suns fans. However, there is real optimism due to the play of the young guys who have taken over the team since most of the veterans were removed from the lineup.
Marquese Chriss, T.J. Warren, Alan Williams, Derrick Jones Jr, and Tyler Ulis have all shown the coaching staff, the organization, and the fans that they have promise and potential; and we have been able to watch them develop before our eyes.
And then there’s that other guy...
Devin Booker has transformed his promising rookie campaign into a star-like sophomore season. He has become a household name, a media-draw, and a light at the end of the tunnel for the Phoenix faithful.
Along with the Suns, the Mavs have had a disappointing season as well, and will miss the playoffs, despite trying to compete with Dirk Nowitzke and a big free-agent acquisition last summer in Harrison Barnes.
The Mavs aren’t losing games as blatantly as the Suns, but they are certainly losing their fair share. Since they have already been eliminated from the playoffs, and could still land anywhere between 6-10th in lottery position, their priorities may not be on winning, either.
The current standings in Lotto-Watch 2017 are as follows
The Suns are holding on to that second spot in the lottery positioning, but remain only one and a half games behind (ahead) of the Los Angeles Lakers, who still have three games left to play compared to just two for the Suns.
After losing 13 games in a row, developing the young guys while at the same time all but ensuring one of the top picks in the draft, the Suns beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, handily, in their last game.
The youth movement, led by Devin Booker, have kept it close in most of their consecutive losses preceding that win. Although the organization would almost certainly prefer to lose out, you simply cannot tell the players to give anything less than their best...as that sort of thinking can result in a culture of losing that can far outlast your short-term lottery goals.
While it would be great for the fans to see their Suns end their home season with another rare win, it would be best to see a competitive game that ultimately results in a loss, to all but ensure the second-best lottery position when those ping-pong balls are assigned.