In this week’s FanPulse poll, the powers that be decided to get away from national NBA questions and stick with the nitty gritty of each team.
To that end, FanPulsers who love the Suns (that’s you guys) were asked not only whether they believed the Suns would make the playoffs, but also to grade the Suns up to this point in the year.
I believe, as is typical for you guys, the results were too negative. Here’s what our community thinks of the season so far:
Now, the question is pretty open-ended. It’s not framed in any sort of context for what we should be comparing this season to. Relative to all other NBA teams, a B or C is fair. Relative to preseason expectations, I would give the Suns an A or B. But most importantly, if we’re comparing this season to literally any of the past 10 (except 2013-14, I guess), a C is insane!
You guys were spoiled by October if you think this team being on track to win 34 games is a C. A C grade is average. If you average out all the Suns’ seasons from 2010-11 until now, the average win total is 27.2. Getting to thirty-freaking-four wins, considering the individual growth and success of both the team’s star players, is a humongous achievement for what until this year was the laughingstock franchise of the NBA.
Again, I get that some answered this purely in simple terms, and winning 34 games in the West makes for an average team. The Suns are near the middle of the pack in both offense and defense. But you’ve gotta keep context in your minds, here, people. The Suns have over-achieved what most believed was possible this year, already!
Of course, another factor coloring people’s feelings about this team is the playoff race. Most of you are already out on the possibility of getting to attend a playoff game at Talking Stick Resort Arena this season.
To be fair, FiveThirtyEight’s projection systems give the Suns just a 2 percent chance of making the playoffs. So the 23 percent optimism depicted above is actually high by that metric. Still, three-quarters of fans being out on the team’s playoff hopes again feels unnecessarily cynical.
We don’t even know what the Suns are going to do at the trade deadline. They aren’t healthy, and their stars are playing better than ever right now. I know this group is helplessly inconsistent, but so is everyone else in the West!
Have hope. It’s just sports.
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