The Phoenix Suns are off to a nice 2-1 start, with their sole loss coming at the hands of Damian Lillard in overtime of their Friday night meeting with the Portland Trail Blazers.
While the Suns still have a few kinks to work out of their lineup, Phoenix has ultimately looked like the team many expected them to be in the opening games of the 2022-23 regular season.
Plenty of time still exists for things to change, but as of now, NBA.com has put the Suns at No. 4 in their power rankings after one week of basketball.
Here’s what John Schuhmann wrote on Phoenix’s ranking:
No. 4: Phoenix Suns (2-1)
OffRtg: 110.0 (17) DefRtg: 104.0 (4) NetRtg: +6.0 (9) Pace: 96.8 (27)
“The opener on Wednesday brought a little deja vu, with the Suns trailing the Mavs by as many as 22 points early in the third quarter. But they kept in touch and turned the game around with a 27-7, fourth-quarter run, in which Devin Booker scored or assisted on 21 of the 27 points. Seeing them close a game without Chris Paul on the floor was strange, but Damion Lee made Monty Williams look like the Coach of Year by hitting the game-winner when the Mavs got the ball out of Booker’s hands.
“Clutchness can be fleeting and the Suns lost in overtime in Portland two nights later. But before he missed the game-tying free throws, Deandre Ayton did get a pair of encouraging defensive stops (one block when it looked like was beat and one steal) on Damian Lillard drives. The big man has finished well in the paint but has just seven free throw attempts to go with his 44 shots from the field. As a team, the Suns have been outscored by 7.0 points per game (the league’s fourth-worst discrepancy) from the line.
“The Suns’ longest homestand of the season (six games over 12 days) begins Tuesday with a visit from the champs. Phoenix-Golden State games last season were must-watch events because the two teams were a combined 35-5 before the first meeting. (4-2 doesn’t bring quite the same amount of juice.) That was the 17th of 18 straight wins for the Suns, with the streak coming to an end at Golden State (and without Booker) three days later.”
Phoenix fell just behind Boston, Milwaukee and Golden State.
The Suns take on the Golden State Warriors tonight before hosting the New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets later this week.
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