Suns proving last season’s NBA Finals was no fluke with 16-game winning streak

Last season’s NBA Finals were a defining moment for the Phoenix Suns. This was only the franchise’s third appearance in a championship series and the first since 1993.

While the players, led by their baseline duo Chris Paul and Devin Booker, as well as head coach Monty Williams were praised for their achievement, there was a lot of downplay saying they caught “ lightning in a bottle ”or the fact that the Suns, in every round of the Western Conference playoffs, faced teams severely crippled by injury.

Now these two points are true. In a truncated 2020-21 season where many teams, including those considered contenders, have been forced to overcome injuries or multiple postponed games, the Suns have enjoyed a healthy roster for the majority of the season and no ‘were only impacted for a week by’ postponed matches’.

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That said, Phoenix has responded strongly to all of those naysayers with a good start to the season. Surviving a late Nets push, on the second night in a row, the Suns extended their winning streak to 16 – the second longest in franchise history.

List stability key for improved play

Last season, the Suns were one of only three teams to make the Top 10 in offense (7th) and defense (6th). This season so far, the Suns have improved the standings.

After Saturday night’s games, Phoenix is ​​ranked sixth in offensive efficiency and third in defensive efficiency, making it one of only two teams (Golden State Warriors) to make the top six in both categories.

They brought back the majority of their roster from last season with the only additions being goaltender Landry Shamet and JaVale McGee. The duo average 17.3 points in 34.8 minutes per game off the bench with an efficiency of over 50%.

The stability of the roster led to a phenomenal game, with the Suns placing third in points per game and assists per game, while also placing sixth in their nine interceptions per game.

On their 16 victories, it is tied at home (8) and on the road (8).

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What’s impressive is that the Suns got off to a 17-3 start despite Deandre Ayton missing six games and their backup forward in Dario Saric still missing with the ACL injury he suffered. suffered in the 2021 final. That said, despite all they have accomplished, there is still room for skepticism.

The Suns have once again been very lucky with their health this season and to top it off they have played the league’s easiest schedule so far, according to powerrankings.com as of Nov. 27.

However, that review will also be removed if the Suns win their next home game after a few days off.

That’s against the league-leading Golden State Warriors 17-2 with a chance to tie the franchise’s longest winning streak at 17.

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its clubs.

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