Worst Case Scenario
We needed a good road trip to keep the playoffs in sight. The Suns lost four toughly contested games, finding new ways to lose each one. They went cold in Orlando. They couldn't get a stop in Miami. They couldn't get the last shot to drop in Houston. They were out-executed in the clutch in San Antonio.
At this point it looks bleak for the Suns making the playoffs. The team hasn't quit. Nash is making plays, Shaq is still a force and different role players are contributing something each night. But this trip was a chance to step up to another level and really strengthen their case as a playoff contender. Unfortunately nothing good came out of it.
The Suns lost ground on the inconsistent Mavericks. We got word Amare Stoudemire is officially out until next season (even though it was highly unlikely he'd return). The Suns are four games back of the Mavs who currently reside in the 8 spot (aka the 'get housed by the Lakers' slot). They play two more times, including Tuesday night in Phoenix.
The team is not terrible. If they were in the East, they'd be battling for homecourt advantage in the first round. But Phoenix is in the West, where you need 50 wins to get into the party.
So maybe it's time to start thinking about the lottery. Here's the reality, as I've mentioned before. The Suns are going to battle until the season ends which means they'll be the best nonplayoff team. So the Suns are practically guaranteed (98.2% chance) of getting the 14th pick in the draft. If they don't get that pick- it'll be in the top 3 of the draft (1.8% chance of that happening). Is there a player out there who can have an instant impact at 14? Is there a rotation player that can be developed at 14? Even better question, what type of team are the Suns going to be going forward?
The Steve Kerr era has been a failure. This talented yet aging team continues to lose tough games and see a playoff run slip away. If Kerr has a strategy after the stutter-step mess this season has been, we'll see it deployed this offseason. Not sure how much faith I have in Kerr to rebuild this team quickly but perhaps some luck may finally give this franchise a boost.
Labels: Phoenix Suns