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1. The Backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe is SCARY GOOD!
Dragic and Bledsoe are, in my opinion, both top 15 point guards in the NBA. They combine for 36.5 PPG and 11.7 APG. Their stats are nearly identical, but their games are very different. Bledsoe is more of an explosive driver and shooter, where Dragic will draw attention with his smart 3-pointers and passes. The combination of the two is nearly unstoppable. If you ask me, they form a top-5 backcourt in the NBA.
2. Jeff Hornacek is an AMAZING Coach
Last year, the Suns were 25-57. At the beginning of the season, the Suns had lost so many players that there were only 5 returning players on the roster. And some of the players that they lost were very significant to the team. The fact that Hornacek was able to completely turn around this team is phenomenal. He’s turned every single player on the team into a better player. Think about it- before the season, NOBODY was calling Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic a top backcourt in the NBA. Nobody was saying that the Morris twins were good, impactful players in the NBA. Nobody would’ve expected Miles Plumlee to average 10 PPG and 9 RPG. But that’s exactly what Hornacek did. He turned every player on the floor into a better player. If I had a vote for Coach of the Year, there isn’t any doubt in my mind that I would vote for Hornacek.
3. Ryan McDonough is an excellent General Manager
Let’s take a look at some of the moves that McDonough has made: He’s acquired countless first round picks; He traded for Eric Bledsoe, Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green, and Ish Smith. He hired Jeff Hornacek as the team’s head coach. Pre-season, if you look at those moves, Eric Bledsoe is the only name that stands out. However, now, Plumlee has turned into a force-to-be-reckoned-with in the paint, Gerald Green is averaging 13 PPG, and Ish Smith has become a decent backup for the team. Overall, McDonough has done an excellent job building for the future, and also, for the present.
4. College Stars are Showing Up
Miles Plumlee was a college star at Duke; Channing Frye was a college star at Arizona; Eric Bledsoe was a college star at Kentucky; Archie Goodwin was a college star at Kentucky; the Morris twins were college stars at Kansas. Based on that, it seems like Hornacek and McDonough have discovered that if you put together enough college stars, they should turn out to be fairly good. Not to mention, they were each coached by world class coaches in Mike Krzyzewski, Lute Olson, John Calipari, and Bill Self, respectively.
5. This Team Has Passion & They Like Each Other
While this may sound silly, it happens to be true. If you watch a game of Phoenix Suns basketball, you will never see two teammates arguing with each other. What you will see are the teammates celebrating, screaming, and cheering every time there is a big play or important situation. The key to success is chemistry. The LA Lakers of last season, with Kobe, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash should have been great, but they had no chemistry and didn’t really like each other, so they barely even made the playoffs. The Suns are a team of young, explosive players, held together by a great coach and veteran leaders, and that is a formula for success.