Not only did the Suns win the fan vote in our survey, they also won the digital simulation on WhatIfSports.com in seven games. Remember, those Lakers were the first incarnation of the Shaquille O’Neal/Kobe Bryant marriage, with Del Harris as coach. In the simulation, O’Neal was a monster as expected, but the Lakers couldn’t contain the Steve Nash/Amar’e Stoudemire combo in the pick and roll.
By winning the fan vote, the Suns move onto the Western Conference second round, where they will face the 1996-97 Jazz. We’ll get plenty of time to revisit those Utah squads in the upcoming episodes of “The Last Dance” on ESPN, but suffice to say the Suns should win this matchup as well.
As long as a lot of our readers vote, the only way Mike Prada will overrule the fan vote is if both the simulation and his own “expert pick” lean the opposite direction of the fan vote. That’s not going to happen. Those Jazz were pretty good, but not enough that such a great Suns team can’t beat them in a head-to-head matchup.
As much as it might hurt some Suns fans to go against Jeff Hornacek, this is our only chance to give the Seven Seconds or Less Suns the championship they deserve.