The Suns went into last season as a bottom-of-the-barrel preseason pick. They were able to trade Luis Scola to Indiana for Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and a first-round pick. That trade helped spark a winning season in Phoenix.
The Suns gave Eric Bledsoe a big contract this offseason. If he plays as well as expected, their back-court duo of Goran Dragic and Bledsoe could be the best in the league. Let’s hope the payday doesn’t mess up his work ethic.
The Suns were only a game out of the 8th spot last season. Will they make the playoffs this season?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Phoenix Suns.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 48-34
Key Additions: PG Isaiah Thomas, PG Tyler Ennis, SF T.J. Warren, PF Anthony Tolliver & SG Zoran Dragic
Key Losses: PF Channing Frye, SG Leandro Barbosa, PG Ish Smith & SG Dionte Christmas
Projected Starters: Miles Plumlee, Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker, Eric Bledsoe & Goran Dragic
Fantasy Sleeper: PF Markieff Morris – Morris didn’t start a single game last season, but he averaged 26.6 minutes per game. Channing Frye was the starting power forward, but he’s now in Orlando. Markieff is a great PER guy (18.5) and I expect him to get about the same amount of minutes. The Suns are creative in using their bigs around the perimeter. Morris does have an outside shot, but his brother Marcus is much better.
Team Analysis: The Suns regained a little of their mid-00’s success last year. Goran Dragic played the part of Steve Nash. He was the most improved player and pushed the team within a game of the playoffs. This all happened while Eric Bledsoe missed 40 games due to injury.
Dragic wasn’t the lone reason for Phoenix’s success. The supporting cast really stepped up and many had career years. Gerald Green was thought to be a throw-in in the Scola trade, but when Bledsoe went out, Green was the scoring power they needed.
The Suns traded away Marcin Gortat at the start of the last season, but the Morris twins, Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee were all the big men they needed. They spread the floor and give Dragic, Green and Bledsoe enough room to drive to the basket. Frye is no longer on the team, but they hope Alex Len gets more time on the court this season.
Phoenix will be a playoff team. They remind me of how Indiana kind of sprouted a few seasons ago. No one really expected them to do much and then out of nowhere, they were soon going deep in the playoffs. The Suns have the kind of explosive offense they had with Steve Nash. They actually play defense better than those teams. Phoenix will be fun to watch.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 43.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 47-35 (8th in Western Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.