Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen a Suns game in nearly a week now. Maybe it’s because their remaining schedule is one of the easiest in the league.
Whatever the reason, I do believe the Phoenix Suns will get on a bit of a roll and collect enough wins to make “the race to 20” a real thing this April.
The 11-48 Suns are in the midst of a 15-game losing streak and their players were desperate to “escape” the losing, so I’m not entirely certain they can pull themselves out of the funk.
But if they can get T.J. Warren and De’Anthony Melton back from their lingering ankle injuries, along with more acclimation from new acquisition Tyler Johnson and a splash of health from Devin Booker...
Maybe, just maybe, these Suns can rack up a few more wins.
The road to nine...
Three roadies — win No. 1
Coming back off the break might actually be good to be away from Talking Stick Resort Arena for a few games while they gear back up for the remainder of the season.
Cleveland, Atlanta and Miami are all beatable on any night, so let’s imagine the Suns beating at lease one of these squads.
Four at home — win No. 2
Out of those four, it seems like the Suns could take at least one of them.
Four against playoff teams — let’s skip this part
Unless something extremely weird happens, they’re not going to beat Portland, Golden State, Utah or Houston.
Three against floundering teams — win No. 3
Yeah, let’s call it.
Two on the road — no wins
Five at home — wins Nos. 4 — 6
This is where Phoenix will have some success. All of the Wizards, Grizzlies, Bulls and Pelicans will be riding out the season, and the Suns are at home. Let’s predict a pair of wins among those four teams.
Finishing the season with a pair of roadies — win No. 7
Okay, so I only got the the Suns to 18 wins. Better than their franchise-worst, but not all the way to 20.
Still, that seems realistic to me, even with the state of these guys’ psyches. I really do think they can effort themselves into some wins much like they did in December after a franchise-worst start to the season.
But what if they go on a mini-run at some point?
The last time the Suns had a schedule anything like their post-All-Star sked was mid-December for a two-week stretch. And they won 5 out of 7 games, with victories over the Mavericks, Timberwolves, Knicks, Celtics and Magic.
What happened to that mid-December run? The schedule. That’s what happened. It got tougher again, and the Suns just can’t beat the West’s best teams.
All the Suns need is another run like in mid-December, and then 20 wins will be firmly back into the picture. That’s where the Suns should have some incentive while many of their opponents won’t.
Let me dream for a moment.