Can the Phoenix Suns win an NBA title? | Explore wellness

The Phoenix Suns won’t win the NBA championship because…

First, let me say that I really, REALLY hope they do. I’ve been a Suns fan since coming to Arizona to play college basketball in the mid-1970s. The Suns, along with Paul Westphal, made the NBA Finals my first year here. This series had one of the craziest NBA playoff games ever, but it would take half that column space to explain what happened. Just Google “Gar Heard Shot” to get the story.

I wanted so badly for the Suns to win in the ’90s with Charles Barkley, but they lost to Michael Jordan’s Bulls in a bizarre series where both teams had lost home-court records during the series. Then, after Jordan retired for the first time, the Suns lost heartbreakingly to the Houston Rockets two years in a row, with the Rockets winning the NBA title both years. In 1994, the Suns led two games to zero, but lost in seven. Worse still, the following year, the Suns led three games to one (!) but lost again in seven, a soul crusher 115- 114… in Phoenix!

We all wanted Steve Nash’s teams to win one, but the NBA commissioner had other ideas, so he applied the suspensions unevenly, allowing the San Antonio Sterns to advance. And last year, we were all in favor of the Suns upstarts, but we weren’t so disappointed when kind Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the title.

This could be the year. The Suns have led the NBA all season and clinched first place in the league a few weeks ago. They play great solid basketball, flashy enough for the casual fan, but smart enough to make the toughest hoops drool. I like the way this team plays. They’re led by Devin Booker, who is expected to be the league’s MVP, although that award almost certainly goes to one of the guys a foot taller than the Suns guard – Nikola Jokic, the aforementioned Giannis or Joel Embiid. .

While I wish and hope, the odds are stacked against the Suns. (Obviously, the odds are against all teams, but slightly less so against the Suns.) Every team has flaws and drawbacks. Let’s look at them.

Like I said, the Phoenix Suns won’t win the NBA championship because:

• They never did. It means something in sports; it always has been. Even last year’s champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, had won a championship before, albeit in the 1970s.

• The team that finishes with the best regular season record in the NBA wins the championship less than half the time. In the NBA’s 75 years, 82 teams have finished with league-best records (there have been a few ties). Of those 82, only 36 have won the playoffs. This is a not too encouraging 44%.

• Strange things happen. While people remember the Suns were in the Finals last year, many forget that they trailed the Lakers two games to one before Anthony Davis was injured and then struggled to pass the Clippers. , even though All-Star Kawhi Leonard got injured.

The Los Angeles Lakers won’t win the NBA championship because… they didn’t make the playoffs! It’s only two seasons after winning everything.

It amazes me how the NBA’s general managers, who receive six- or seven-figure salaries, are unable to distinguish between great players and winners. Carmelo Anthony was a great player; Tim Duncan was a winner. Allen Iverson was a great player; Dwyane Wade was a winner.

Russell Westbrook is a great player, but he’s not a winner. When the Lakers signed him before this season, it was a monstrous Uh-oh! moment and it turned out to be even worse than anyone could imagine.

The Milwaukee Bucks won’t win the NBA championship because…they won it last year. It’s by no means impossible to repeat as champions (Miami and Golden State have won back-to-back titles for the past decade), but one champion is more likely to go unrepeated than two to win it twice in a row. .

The Philadelphia 76ers won’t win the NBA championship because… they’ll struggle to get past the first round. James Harden, for whom the 76ers gave too much to acquire, is playing like a bad version of himself. Perhaps more importantly, the 76ers will likely face the Toronto Raptors in the first round and unvaccinated players (of whom the 76ers have at least one) will not be allowed entry into Canada.

Finally, the Brooklyn Nets won’t win the NBA championship because… the basketball gods won’t let it. The mayor of New York may have sold his city just to let Kyrie Irving play in Brooklyn, but the gods have higher standards.