Phoenix made a highly-risk move during the offseason by acquiring 35-year-old veteran point guard Chris Paul via trade from Oklahoma for Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre, Jalen Lecque, Ty Jerome and a first-round pick.
The Suns are hoping to capture that “CP3 Magic” that helped a starless Thunder squad become a very competitive playoff contender last season.
As well as echoing the same development of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but for Devin Booker.
And so far, for the first nine games of this new Phoenix squad, it’s looking like management made the right move.
The Suns are currently among the top two of the Western Conference teams with a 6-3 record. They have a better record than the defending champions Lakers, and Western Conference finalist Nuggets. Let’s also not forget that they went 8-0 in the bubble last season while narrowly missing out on the playoffs.
This season, Phoenix have beaten some playoff teams contenders like Dallas, Denver, Utah and Toronto en route to their strong start.
The improvement of the Suns are very visible not only with their game but how everything is being led by Paul on and off the court.
Morale is high and everyone is confident with what they can do especially after their magical run in the bubble last season where they went undefeated for their last eight games.
Seven players are currently averaging double-figures for Phoenix.
Devin Booker is averaging only 21.5 points, a decrease from his 26.6 points average but is receiving significant help from his other teammates. Mikal Bridges is the second leading scorer with 14.0 points per outing and is slowly showing himself as reliable wing player.
DeAndre Ayton, Cameron Johnson and Paul are all averaging 13.0 points per game while Dario Saric and Jae Crowder are putting up 11.0 points per outing.
Ayton is showing why he was selected as the first overall pick during his draft class as he is averaging 11.4 rebounds and shooting 58.4% from the field, leading the team in both categories.
The Suns are looking like a team that can actually make noise and pull off a surprise in the first round if they reach the playoffs.
The big question now is whether Phoenix can be consistent for the whole season and be this good in the next few years.
As we’ve seen in the past, there have been teams that is very competitive in the first part of the season but slowly declined as they failed to maintain their stellar play. Their loss today against the Detroit Pistons, who are the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference, reminds us that it’s still early in the season.
So far, though, the Suns are looking good and seem primed for a breakout season.
Phoenix with the duo of CP3 and D-Book looks like a team that can make a deep run as one of the top seeds.
The chemistry of the two seems to be perfect as both players compliments each other not just in the game but with their attitude and mindset outside as well.
Paul has said in the past in an interview that they’re there to compete and not just become a teacher for the younger ones.
“Everyone always talks about what I can teach [Devin Booker] or teach some of these other guys, but they’re teaching me at the same time too. I’m not James Naismith by no means. First things first, I’m not just coming in here trying to teach everybody. I’m his teammate. We’re here to hoop, we’re here to compete and that’s how I approach this,” he said.
That’s the perfect mindset for a star that will team-up with Booker who has said in the past that he’s tired of not competing in the playoffs.
Do you think Phoenix will be competitive for the whole season? Sound off in the comment section!