The Phoenix Suns' revenge season continues, and they are torching the competition en route to owning the best record in the NBA. They are playing with a chip on their shoulders after losing in the finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, but it's not the only reason they have played so well the entire season.
The Phoenix Suns can win without Chris Paul
One solid proof of why Phoenix is a title favorite this year: they lost Chris Paul since the All-Star break but continued winning. CP3 helped change the team's culture and mentality when he arrived in 2020. With Paul running the show, Phoenix reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993. There's a real chance the Suns could still get to the finals and win the title without him.
The Suns recorded 10-4 in the absence of their floor general. It's a statement delivered to the rest of the league that the Suns are for real. Credit must also be given to coach Monty Williams who transformed his team into a well-oiled offensive machine even if they miss some key players.
The good news is that Chris can take his time recovering since his team has already clinched a playoff spot. The Suns have been so dominant that they are nine games ahead of the second-place Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference standings.
The Suns have composure when it matters most
Phoenix sports a 14-13 record when going to the 4th quarter trailing. If they maintain this pace, they could become the 4th team in the last two decades to finish a season with a winning record despite going into the last quarter trailing. The other three teams who achieved this feat:
2006-07 Dallas Mavericks (13-12)
2008-09 Boston Celtics (12-10)
2015-16 Golden State Warriors (10-7)
This tells us the Suns know how to win when it matters. The players believe in the system, and they make the right decisions amid the pressure. These are championship traits that cannot be taught; it needs to be learned the hard way.
Moreover, the game's already over when the Suns are ahead in the third quarter. They hold an immaculate 44-0 record when this happens. Phoenix defeats teams without their primary playmaker, even when they lag behind coming into the final quarter. It's going to get scary for other teams in the NBA once CP3 returns and the Suns learn how to be consistent in the fourth.
The Phoenix Suns are a different beast this time around, even a more lethal version than last year. Whoever comes out of the East will have their hands full if they meet the Suns in the NBA Finals because this time is going for revenge.