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Phoenix Suns Team Preview

Phoenix Suns
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The Phoenix Suns had one of the most improbable runs to the NBA Finals in recent memory. It is rare to see a team go from being a team that was out of the playoffs the previous season to winning the Western Conference. The Suns did it; however, but blew a 2-0 series lead to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals. Phoenix has one of the best young cores in the sport and is hoping for a chance to finish the deal this time.

It was undeniable the impact that veteran point guard Chris Paul had on the team last season, but the playoffs were mostly about the young guys. Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges took big leaps in the regular and postseason and it should result in future extensions. Devin Booker showed why he is one of the best players in the game and this entire team is back for another run. Get your popcorn ready.

Make sure to check out all of our other NBA Season Previews.

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Offseason Recap

It was a quiet offseason in the valley. The most noteworthy thing that the Suns did was give Paul an extension. It is always risky to give an aging player a lot of money, but Paul more than earned it with the impact he had on the court and off of it for the Suns. Another key free agent the Suns retained was backup point guard Cameron Payne. Payne was critical to the Sun’s success and really found a role for himself.

Two other moves that should make an impact for Phoenix are Landry Shamet and JaVale McGee. Shamet is one of the best shooters in the NBA and McGee will provide good depth at the center position. This team did not have to do much, but getting those guys re-signed and adding Shamet and McGee will make Phoenix a better basketball team.

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The Starting Five

PG – Chris Paul

SG – Devin Booker

SF – Mikal Bridges

PF – Jae Crowder

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C – Deandre Ayton

This is one of the best starting lineups in the NBA and it is only going to get better. Booker, Bridges, and Ayton are still young and improving and it showed during their run to the NBA Finals. Booker is the star of the team and one of the most automatic scorers in the NBA. He might not be great defensively, but it does not matter when you can score the ball as Booker can.

Paul showed that he can still be an elite player at his age and he was an MVP candidate for much of the season. Naturally, though, questions will arise if Paul can keep up his level of play for much longer. Bridges got much better last season and is an excellent defender and capable three-point shooter. Crowder brings veteran toughness and leadership to the team and Ayton is one of the best young bigs in the league. This is the same starting five as last season and it is still one of the best the NBA has to offer.

The Bench

Much like the starting five, nothing much has changed about the bench. Payne is going to lead the way but look for another jump from forward Cameron Johnson. Johnson showed he has a lot of potential in the playoffs and should keep improving as a player. Shamet was added to the bench to bring some shooting to the team and he should be able to do just that. McGee should fill in as the backup center while Dario Saric is recovering from a knee injury. Guys like Frank Kaminsky and new additions Chandler Hutchison and Elfrid Payton will be depth pieces that will not be getting major minutes. This is a good bench, led by two guys who can contend for the sixth man of the year in Johnson and Payne.

One Potential Move to Make

The Suns are in the enviable position of having a talented young roster that does not need many improvements. It makes a lot of sense for the Suns to just run it back with the same team that they had a year ago. This is a team that does not have many holes on it and it would be a shock if they made any major in-season changes to their roster. However, if there were a veteran that gets bought out after a contract, that could be an avenue for the Suns to look to add a player. It is unclear who that guy could be, but if the team is looking for some wing depth, that would be a position that the Suns could look to upgrade.

Season Outlook

The Suns are in a great position to once again make it back to the NBA Finals. It is tough to forecast who is going to make it out of the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites, but they have 11 new players and some odd fits on the team. The Los Angeles Clippers are going to be missing Kawhi Leonard for most of, if not all, the season. The same goes for Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets.

The Suns are not getting as much attention as the Lakers, but that is probably the way that they like it. This team seems to relish the underdog role and they are going to be a tough team to beat every night. If guys like Bridges and Ayton continue to improve, it is not out of the question for this team to be back in the NBA Finals.

Season Prediction: 48-34, Third in the Pacific Division


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
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