The Phoenix Suns quietly made one of the most shrewd moves of the offseason, bringing in 35-year-old point guard Chris Paul to provide a veteran presence and be a heady playmaker for their young group.
Now, with a 6-2 record that’s tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the best in the Western Conference, the Suns have emerged as legitimate playoff contenders for the first time since 2010-11. They may even be seen as Conference Finals contenders if they sustain their level of play.
Phoenix has one of the most efficient offenses in the league, boasting a team field goal percentage of .471 (ranked 10th in the NBA) and a three-point percentage of .391 (ranked 6th in the NBA). However, the Suns hang their hat on their defensive play, holding opposing teams to 102.4 points per game (ranked 1st in the NBA) with a defensive rating of 105.3 (ranked 6th in the NBA).
Speaking to reporters hours before their matchup with the Toronto Raptors, Suns forward Jae Crowder says that one of Phoenix’s goals is to have the league’s best defense.
They’re already well on their way to doing that and with quite a few strong defensive players — including Paul, Crowder, Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges — they should be an elite defensive team for multiple seasons.
The Suns are clearly one team that fans should keep their eye on and finally seem to be turning the corner from promise to production.