The Phoenix Suns are just ten games into the season, it is not time to worry.
Every team’s aspirations are still able to be completed even if they’ve started rough. As we all remember, just a season ago, the Lakers started 2-10 and made the Western Conference Finals.
However, the goal in the Valley remains a championship. Their 4-6 start to the year isn’t necessarily alarming considering the circumstances, but it will be essential for the team to start to pile up wins as the regular season progresses, at least according to NBA history.
What the Lakers and Heat did last year should not be Phoenix’s aspirations; both situations are extremely different and are not feasible for the Suns.
The Lakers completely overdid their roster at the trade deadline last season, something unlikely and impractical to happen for the Suns. The Heat were just a mediocre team for most of last season until late in the season when they started to catch fire from three along with Jimmy Butler catching fire once again in the playoffs. While both of these teams had nice playoff runs, neither won the title, which is the only thing that matters in Arizona.
If the Suns are a lower seed it will most likely be due to injuries and lack of chemistry. Picking up victories at this time of the season is important with a new squad because it helps establish a winning precedent, build chemistry, and allow players to ramp up and rest more at the end of the season instead of tussling for a win on back to back in Charlotte in mid-March. Devin Booker and Bradley have already missed games this year and Kevin Durant is 35 and hasn’t played more than 55 games since 2018.
Until last season, the last time a No. 6 seed won a playoff series was in 2018, a No. 7 seed in 2010, and a No. 8 seed in 2012. That’s just a playoff series. Only one seed lower than four has ever won an NBA Championship, the 1995 Houston Rockets. Phoenix’s path to a title isn’t being an outlier, it’s being dominant.
The fourth-quarter woes, the inconsistent shooting, and the lack of help around Kevin Durant are things that will get better when Devin Booker returns, but the win-loss column is what needs to improve the most.
A 64-18 season like two years ago doesn’t need to happen, nor do the Suns need to be the No. 1 seed, they just need to be in the top three and win around 49-53 games. Home-court advantage is pivotal, which Phoenix has shown the last two seasons, losing every single road conference semi-final game they’ve played in and winning five of the seven home games they’ve played in the second round.
Of course, the Suns will need to win some tough road games to win it all, but home-court advantage certainly helps. Even in LeBron James’ iconic career, the three titles he won outside the NBA Bubble (there was no home court of course), his team was the No.1 or No. 2 seed every time. The one time he was a No. 2 seed, Derrick Rose got hurt in the first round resulting in the No. 1 seed Chicago Bulls going down in the first round, giving the Heat home-court advantage for the entirety of their Eastern Conference playoff play.
It is not time to panic in the Valley by any means, but the Suns need to eventually start piling up wins to help them get to where they want to get to in June.