The Phoenix Suns are back; this team has playoff DNA

NBA Phoenix Suns Aron Baynes(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NBA Phoenix Suns Aron Baynes(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns have jumped out to a very impressive start this season, but can they keep winning consistently and make it in the playoffs?

The Phoenix Suns have jumped out to a very impressive start this season. Through the first 11 games of the season, the Suns are 7-4 and currently ranked fifth in the Western Conference standings.

It’s especially surprising how well they have been playing well without the second-year center Deandre Ayton, who is currently sitting out with a 25 game suspension due to the use of banned substances.

A share of the credit for their early success has got to go to the Suns coach new coach Monty Williams. He has done a great job of putting this team in positions to compete with anybody in the league. Credit also needs to be attributed to general manager James Jones who assembled this roster.

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Jones orchestrated what is now proving to be an advantageous trade to acquire Aron Baynes from the Boston Celtics and quality free agent signings of Ricky Rubio, Frank Kaminsky and re-signing Kelly Oubre Jr.

Phoenix’s 23-year-old phenom and franchise focal point Devin Booker is playing all-star caliber basketball. Kelly Oubre Jr. has been contributing career highs to the box scores and Frank Kaminsky is finally getting an opportunity to play significant minutes and prove he can impact games consistently.

Ricky Rudio’s assist numbers have not been this high, since his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Then, the center from New Zealand, Aron Baynes, has been the most statistically efficient player for the Suns this season.

Baynes impact has been the most unexpected sensation for the Suns so far this season, his stats (15 PPG, 6 RPG, 3 APG) are the best they have ever been in this his seventh season in the NBA. His minutes per game and overall opportunities to contribute were made possible at the expense of Ayton’s suspension, so there is a possibility for Baynes production to regress when Ayton returns. Regardless of what happens when Ayton returns, the Suns acquired savvy playmakers who are helping contribute with Devin Booker to play winning basketball.

If the Suns continue playing at their current pace there is no reason as to why they can’t make the playoffs. It’s news to no one that the talent of the teams in the Western Conference is unparalleled. In order to get a shot to make the playoffs in West winning over 45 games is looking to be the minimum requirement.

With the Suns hitting their stride early they will be tested more as the season progresses. Fortunately, Ayton will provide and additional advantage inside when his suspension is up and he will be able to provide some big playmaking abilities and more depth to the guys playing the extra minutes to compensate for his loss.

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It’s going to be tough for coach Monty Williams to justify not playing Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky at the rates they are currently contributing. But the best problem for any team to have is more ways than one to win games and the Phoenix Suns are not short of that.