As recently as 2016, the Phoenix Suns were the league’s 4th winningest franchise in league history.
No, they’ve never won an NBA Championship, but over their first 42 seasons they reached the playoffs 29 times, the Conference Finals nine times and the NBA Finals twice.
These last nine seasons have been pitiful and every year is worse, but at least it’s better than the next.
As of this morning, the once-proud franchise has the worst record in the NBA at 4-21, in a conference where the other 14 teams have AT LEAST 11 wins each.
These last two losses have capped this futility...
The Suns are the first team in the shot clock era to be held under 10 points in the first quarter of back-to-back games (since 1954-55).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 7, 2018
Yes, the franchise that was once a model of fun and prolific offense has scored only nine points in each of the last two opening quarters, getting outscored 70-18 in those two frames.
Worst record in the league.
Worst record after 25 games in franchise history.
Worst defense in franchise history.
Worst offensive output to start the last two games in 64 years, since the league forced each team to have at least a dozen chances to score each quarter.
But is this the worst team in Suns franchise history?
I don’t think so, actually.
I mean, it’s two piles of dung. One piles smells just a bit sweeter than another.
But I do think last year was rock bottom.
Let’s not forget that last year’s Suns team lost two of their first three games by 42 or more points, and their net 92 points in losses over the three games was the worst in NBA history.
And, THAT team had everyone healthy. They started all of Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker and T.J. Warren, plus veteran Tyson Chandler in those ugly losses.
THAT team endured a franchise-record number of 40+ point losses (4) and became only the third team in NBA history to post that many 40-point losses in a single season.
THAT team was last in the league in both offense and defense over a full 82-game schedule.
Whereas THIS team was playing competitive basketball as recently as a week ago, with Devin Booker and T.J. Warren combining for 45% of their offense, and boasting middle-third (small miracles here) offensive and defensive ratings for half the young season.
And they don’t have any of those embarrassing 40-point losses on their books.
Booker and Warren are out right now, but they’ll be back soon. And the Suns competitiveness will come back with them.
And when Dorothy finds Deandre Ayton and teaches him that that life lesson, we might start watching a fun team.