The NBA Playoffs are hard, but the Suns are making it look fairly easy. CP3 is the reason this team, so won 19 games two seasons ago, has risen to legit championship contenders. It’s a remarkable rise, fueled by the impactful play of Paul (the All-Star some might consider the least-heralded member of LeBron’s Bannan Boat Crew).
The Suns have won six consecutive playoff games since dropping two straight against the Lakers in the opening round.
They went out and scored 37 points in the first quarter of a close-out game against a desperate team with home-court advantage, which also featured the league MVP.
From the looks of their attitude and play, they’ve been liberated by their landmark series victory over the Lakers, where they eliminated LeBron James while trolling LeBron James. The improved health of point guard Chris Paul has fortified the team, while Paul is piecing together the finest season of his illustrious career.
They are starting to show a little resemblance to the 2003-04 Pistons, a team that won an NBA championship with brotherhood, balance and impenetrable defense.
It’s hard to believe these Suns once seemed near the playoff precipice, losing two of the first three games to the Lakers following a fluke injury to Paul.
And yet one still has to wonder:
Can a team lose its edge in a non-competitive series?
Yes, they can, but a team with Chris Paul as its leader won’t have that problem. The savvy vet will keep them locked and cocked and when it’s go-time again they’ll be ready.
For most of the night, they made the usually raucous crowd in Denver sound like Communion Sunday at church.
This is his finest NBA moment as we watch him solidify his Hall of Fame candidacy in live time.
Jae Crowder has blossomed into a formidable cog for Phoenix and looms big for something of this nature as well.
In the playoffs, NBA usually stands for Nail Biting Association. But it’s been the total complete opposite in the “Valley of the Sun,” thus far this postseason as the Suns have won playoff games by 9, 8, 20, 13, 17, 25 and 14 points. Their average margin of victory of currently 15.1 points with an (8-2) record.
In the clincher, D-Book added 34 and 11, Crowder grabbed 11 boards and the rest is history.
The lack of hand-wringing is great for its fans, who are so deserving of this tailwind of dominant basketball. But we all know that iron sharpens iron, and one has to wonder if Phoenix would be better served with some real crunch-time stress and experience.
I’m of the belief that teams that consistently win in dominant fashion shouldn’t have to apologize for lopsided outcomes. But the Nuggets were a drawer full of dull knives at the moment.
Even had their head coach Michael Malone take some extraordinary measures following the first two games by calling his team soft and basically saying they were quitters.
They were also fatigued from the condensed schedule in 2021, after spending 100 days in the Orlando bubble the previous season. Not having star point guard Jamal Murray (torn ACL) was also an unsustainable loss.
The Suns are currently on rocket fuel and are just eight wins away from winning their first championship in 53 years, and I’m here to tell you that notion isn’t too far-fetched.
They have all the ingredients and they’re gelling at the right time. Also, whichever team they play in the WCF will be worn down from the slugfest that’s occurring between the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers.
The only team left that I believe Phoenix can’t beat four times in seven games is a healthy Brooklyn Nets team, but with the injury bug constantly plaguing BK, the Big Three of KD, James Harden and Kyrie may not even be around if the Suns reached the NBA Finals.