When the shortened 2020-21 NBA season was set to tip-off prior to Christmas, there was precious little noise about the Phoenix Suns. The team from Arizona had made some interesting moves, sure. Chief among those moves was strengthening the backcourt.
Star turn Devin Booker has never played in a playoff round and has made clear in the recent past that this is his ambition. Fears existed, though, that the star shooter might get sick of waiting for Phoenix to deliver a chance of success.
However, the arrival of the Point God himself in Chris Paul soon changed the talk around Phoenix. Quickly, murmurs were coming from the team that was genuine confidence, powered by Paul, that Phoenix could make a playoff push.
Their impressive 8-0 bubble run last season was the start of something impressive…now, it looks like Phoenix could legitimately push not only for the play-offs but for the top spot in the West.
A hugely impressive season built on the youthful Booker and DeAndre Ayton has been amplified by the veteran CP3. So much so that not only are the Phoenix Suns a fair shout for a high playoff seeding in the West, but they are rated as the seventh most likely winner of the entire 2021 NBA. Odds of +1600 (or 16/1) has Suns fans excited that this could see them push all the way to a legendary season.
As the only team in the Pacific Division not from California, many have assumed the Suns would struggle to ever regain relevance. The last decade-plus has seen the team really struggle to amount to anything – but with such a stellar season so far, could the Suns genuinely make a push for the NBA Finals?
Third-time lucky for the Suns?
Having reached the 1976 NBA Finals and the 1993 NBA Finals, the Suns have never lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy themselves. Despite having the seventh-best winning percentage of all-time NBA standings, the Suns are also the second-highest ranked team to never lift the trophy. This season, though, the tantalizing prospect of finishing top of the West could make it third-time lucky for the Suns.
The top spot would offer a likely easier route to the Finals. Currently, odds of +800 for a top spot victory seem like pretty good odds given how the season has played out. The injuries to key players like the Los Angeles Lakers, pre-season favorites alongside city rivals Clippers, and the surprise run of the Utah Jazz have left Phoenix in a pretty wonderful position. Indeed, who could have called the Suns as the -125 favorites to finish top of the Pacific Division?
With a 42-16 record so far, the Phoenix Suns are just 1.5 games back from the top spot and are making an impressive run, winning 8 of their last 10. With the Jazz stuttering to 6-4 over the same time, could the Suns make up the gap and claim the top seed in the West? It certainly feels possible.
Be sure to check out Oskeim Sports’ award-winning sports picks at the online store. Also, visit daily for quality free picks and valuable betting advice.