Can Chris Paul, Suns recapture final season’s magic?

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The Phoenix Suns cruised by means of the Western Convention playoff bracket, going 12-4 on their technique to the NBA Finals.

They have been up 2-0 within the NBA Finals. They led within the fourth quarter of Sport 4 and might need gained it if not for one of many nice, clutch blocks in Finals historical past. They’d an opportunity to take the lead within the closing minute of Sport 5. They led at halftime of Sport 6. 

The Milwaukee Bucks gained the NBA championship, however the Suns have been tantalizingly shut. They’d have been a becoming champion after an ideal season. They simply did not catch the important thing break they wanted.  

The query for bettors is whether or not the Suns can get again to that stage this upcoming season, or if that was their one alternative to lastly win a title. 

Suns had a unbelievable season

There was nothing fluky in regards to the 2020-21 Suns. They went 51-21 within the common season. Whereas they did catch some damage breaks in every of the three rounds of the West playoffs, that is a part of the sport and the Suns dealt with enterprise after they caught these breaks. Phoenix was unquestionably one of many NBA’s finest groups. 

The query is whether or not the Suns can do it once more. 

The Suns are +1500 to win the NBA championship at BetMGM and +700 to repeat as West champs. The Brooklyn Nets (+240), Los Angeles Lakers (+400), Golden State Warriors (+900) and Bucks (+900) are the one groups with decrease championship odds. It is a bit of a hedge. Oddsmakers do not count on the Suns to fall off, however they do not count on them to completely repeat their nice season both. 

The Suns have had a stable offseason. The large transfer was retaining level guard Chris Paul. The one notable loss was Torrey Craig, a tricky defender who averaged 7.2 factors per recreation. They added heart JaVale McGee for frontcourt depth and guards Landry Shamet and Elfrid Payton, making a deep backcourt even deeper. It was a constructive offseason. 

However the principle query surrounds the largest title on final season’s roster. 

Suns coach Monty Williams led his team to the 2021 NBA Finals.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Suns coach Monty Williams led his group to the 2021 NBA Finals. (Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Photos)

Can Suns repeat within the West? 

Paul is likely one of the all-time greats, however he is 36. Within the playoffs final season, Paul handled a number of accidents and appeared worn down late within the NBA Finals when he had some uncharacteristic turnover points. Paul was good over the course of the season, reworking a Suns group that hadn’t made the playoffs since 2010, however we now have to acknowledge that his play may dip considerably at any time. Not many level guards are nonetheless enjoying nice basketball at 36. If Paul slips to a middle-of-the-pack level guard, it is arduous to see the Suns holding tempo. 

The Suns do have younger basis, together with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. Their function gamers have been unbelievable all season. Monty Williams is proving to be one of many NBA’s finest coaches. However apart from Paul’s age, it is also arduous to repeat a (close to) dream season. Different groups within the West are bettering. Not everybody will likely be harm subsequent postseason. There’s pure regression after an enormous enchancment. 

It should be arduous for the Suns to money a West or NBA Finals ticket. If they can not, there will likely be lots of vitality spent questioning what may have been with a play right here or there in final season’s Finals. 

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