Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and company made quick work of the Denver Nuggets by completing a 4-0 series sweep of them last Sunday. One popular website that specializes in running computer simulation models makes Phoenix the new favorite to win the NBA championship (FiveThirtyEight). Here are three reasons why the Suns will be crowned world champs this year and bring home their first title in franchise history.
3. Chris Paul is the League’s Most Underrated Leader
It’s wonderful to see a soft spoken leader like Chris Paul finally getting his due. Even though he’s 36 years old, Paul is still one of the best point guards in the NBA and a natural leader on the floor. The former Wake Forest standout compiled 41 assists in only four games against the Nuggets.
Paul also dished out 46 assists in six games against the Los Angeles Lakers, all while battling an injured shoulder. The former NBA Rookie of the Year (2005-06) makes everyone around him better and that’s something that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. Did you know that Paul ranks fifth on the NBA’s all-time list for career assists (10,275)?
Paul is an 11-time All-Star but doesn’t make the major headlines as much as guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or James Harden. It’s been amazing to see how well Booker has improved his game under Paul’s leadership. Paul is underrated because he isn’t flashy and he’s not very outspoken.
2. The Suns are NOT Intimidated
The Suns are a team full of giant-killers. They dethroned the “King” Lebron James by sending the Lakers home in the first round. Everyone thought that the Nuggets and this year’s MVP Nikola Jokic would give the Suns plenty of problems.
The masses were wrong though, as Phoenix didn’t blink an eye on the way to a 4-0 series sweep of Denver. Even if the Brooklyn Nets figure things out and get their three superstars (Durant, Irving, and Harden) healthy, there’s no way the Suns would back down to them in a potential Finals matchup. This Phoenix Suns team has the type of no-quit attitude that it takes to win an NBA title.
1. The Suns Play Team Basketball
In an NBA era that is focused on building mega-teams with numerous superstars, it’s refreshing to see a team like the Suns succeed. Phoenix plays well together as a team and everyone knows how to share the basketball. This kind of unselfishness is almost unheard of in today’s game.
Shooting guard Devin Booker is the clear scoring leader, but the Suns have six players that are averaging in double figures during this postseason. Guys like Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, and Cameron Payne have all shown the innate ability to step up and deliver during crunch time. All these players would love to get Paul a ring, which would cement him as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.