We were left with feelings like as disbelief, disappointment, and frustration the last time we witnessed the Phoenix Suns play basketball. The team and its fanbase have spent the summer attempting to rebound from a historically poor Game 7 performance at home against the Dallas Mavericks on May 15.
While that game and that series will forever live in the past, it will forever be referenced, scrutinized, and be a part of the Valley Era of Phoenix Suns basketball. The only way to move on from such a performance is to get up off the ground, get back on your horse, and move on.
The only way to move on from such a performance is to get up off the ground, get back on your horse, and move on. On October 19, the Suns will do just that, as their season will begin anew.
Perhaps it is fitting that the team that they will do that against is the team who eliminated them from the playoffs a season ago. Shams Charania reported that the Suns will open their season at home against Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, and the Dallas Mavericks.
After blowout Game 7 loss in West semifinals, the Phoenix Suns will host the Dallas Mavericks in the season opener for both teams on Oct. 19, per sources. Luka Doncic and his new backcourt starter, Spencer Dinwiddie, vs. Devin Booker and Chris Paul.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 15, 2022
The NBA got it right by pitting these two teams against each other, considering the storylines that exist between the two franchises. Ayton vs. Luka. CP3 and Booker vs. Luka and Dinwiddie. A championship favorite eliminated by a dominant player. All of the narratives are there.
It won’t be a “revenge game” for the Suns. How can it be? The only way to enact “revenge” against the team that ended the best regular season in the history of your franchise is to end their season in the playoffs. You don’t gain revenge by defeating them in the first game of the season.
What is important about this matchup, is it allows the Phoenix Suns an opportunity to move on from last year. The Mavericks will be an elephant in the room and playing them to open the season allows for them to address those questions and move on.
This matchup will be an ideal opportunity for the Suns to remind the casual fan that they are better than the effort they put forth in Game 7. The first half of the season comes down to two games for the “casuals”: Opening Night and Christmas Day. These are high-profile matchups that will draw a lot of attention. As the casual fan waits for the postseason to return, opinions will be formed and left to marinate throughout the season based on performances on these dates.
For those of us who are considered diehards, or even just more engaged as followers of the team, it’s just another game. It is the start of a new season and the beginning of a journey that we hope will eventually lead to a Phoenix title.
The status of the Phoenix Suns’ roster for Opening Night remains unknown. The Kevin Durant sweepstakes has hampered our expectations for next season’s squad because we don’t know if he will be a member of the team or not.
Regardless of KD’s presence or not, it will be nice to have an opportunity to play the Mavericks and get that matchup out of the way. Just avoid Twitter that night. If the Phoenix Suns win, they’ll never win in the eyes of the Mavericks’ fan base. Will have to hear about last season. Forever.