According to Matt Barnes, in the upcoming 2021-2022 campaign, the Phoenix Suns won’t be able to replicate the successes they witnessed last season.
Over the last couple of years, the Phoenix Suns have been a lottery team at the most. Before this campaign, despite having the prolific scorer Devin Booker on their roster since 2015, the team hadn’t advanced to the postseason. However, with the addition of veteran playmaker Chris Paul on their squad, the Suns went from having the worst record in the league to being NBA Finalists in only a matter of 3 seasons.
Behind Booker’s fantastic 25.6/4.2/4.3 performance and CP3’s 16.4/4.5/8.9 averages, the Suns stunned several teams to finish 2nd in the West with an incredible 51-21 record.
Phoenix entered the postseason with the same form they finished the regular season. After handing LeBron James and the Lakers a 4-2 series defeat, 4-0 sweep against the MVP Nikola Jokic and his team, and 4-2 win against the Clippers, the Suns entered their first finals appearance in 28 years.
Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks overcame a 2-0 deficit, defeating Phoenix 4-2 to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy, it was a pretty successful year for the Suns. However, not many analysts and enthusiasts believe that the Suns can replicate the success they witnessed last season.
“If the West is healthy, it’s going to be loaded and tough for the Phoenix Suns to get out”: Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes is one of the many analysts who doesn’t see the Suns reproducing yet another successful season like the previous one. In his recent appearance on “The Jump”, Barnes disclosed:
“Love CP! Love Book! Experience is the best teacher and they have that now. But if the West is healthy, it’s going to be loaded, and it’s going to be tough [for the Suns] to get out. I wouldn’t bet on them, with all due respect. Like I said, great young team, one of the best floor generals we’ve ever seen in the history of this game. But again, a lot of things lined up perfect for them to do what they did last year.”
To be fair, Matt isn’t all wrong. Due to the numerous injuries other teams sustained in the playoffs, which no doubt they capitalised upon, the Suns had a rather easier route to the finals. They defeated an injured Lakers team, a Jamal Murray-less Denver team, and Kawhi-less Clippers team, but lost to a healthy Bucks team.
In the upcoming season, several teams, when healthy, like the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, among others look like a better squad. However, knowing CP and his wizardry, it won’t be shocking if the Suns do manage to find huge successes this upcoming year too.