- Dawson Haywood
The Suns are the most surprising team to come out of the West, and arguably the NBA, this season. They went from a team that had not had a winning season in 6 season and not having a playoff appearance in 10 seasons to becoming the #2 team in the competitive Western Conference. On top a phenomenal and unexpected season, their playoff run has been nothing short of remarkable. Knocking off Lebron James and the NBA defending champions out in the first round then sweeping this years MVP out of the playoffs in the second round is something that we do not see happen in the NBA very often.
The addition of Chris Paul has proven to be a good move for the organization and is likely a move that will set up the Suns for years to come even after he retires, which is a real possibility after his contract expires at the conclusion of next season. His veteran leadership has allowed the young bucks, like Booker, Ayton, and Bridges, to tap into their potential and show the league what they are made of.
This year is Chris Paul's year to win a ring. He has been in the shadows of the league for years and has a very decorated career which includes 11 All-Star appearances, 9 All-NBA, and 9 All-Defense teams. The one thing it seems he has yet to accomplish is a championship. With Paul's contract running out at the end of next year and his time in the NBA dwindling, this could be the last legitimate shot Paul has to win it all.
The Suns success has proven that they can compete with the best but there is still a very long and daunting road ahead of this young Suns team. In the Western Conference finals they will have to go up against either a hungry Clippers team or this year's #1 team, the Utah Jazz. Should they make it to the Finals, whoever comes out of the East will put up a good fight as well. As mentioned in a previous article, the Nets have a lot to prove this season and Durant, Harden, Irving, and Griffin's legacies are on the line.
The Suns' fanbase has a lot to look forward to regardless of the outcome even with Paul likely being gone within the next few years. Their young players have likely not even reached their prime and yet they have still made it to the Western Conference Finals. Hopefully, Booker and his other teammates can build off this season. If the Suns do not win the finals this year but do within the next few season, I believe this secures Chris Paul's legacy as a positive one.
The Heatin' Up Podcast is providing their listeners and our viewers with an opportunity to win an authentic NBA Suns jersey if they win this year's NBA finals. To enter, visit the Heatin' Up Podcast Instagram page (@heatinuppod) to learn more about how you can win.