Phoenix Suns have shaken off uneven start; look like contenders once again

NBA Phoenix Suns Chris Paul and Devin Booker (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Phoenix Suns Chris Paul and Devin Booker (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Phoenix Suns are contenders again, and their play is finally backing it up this season. 

After losing three of its first four games to start the season, concern was starting to build around the Phoenix Suns. They were dealing with off-the-court stories (one more serious than others) and the team was not playing like the same one that reached the NBA Finals last season.

However, a couple of weeks later, the Suns look like a completely different team. Since that uneven start, the Suns have won seven games in a row. Over this recent seven-game winning streak, the Suns have the seventh-best offense and the second-best defense.

What’s even more impressive is that the Suns aren’t just beating teams, they’re running away in these wins. They have a net rating of 10.5 in their last seven games, which is second-best in the league over that span.

Phoenix’s big four has looked more and more settled in on the year as the season has gone one and specifically, Devin Booker, is beginning to play a bit better after a less-than-ideal start to the year (especially from 3-point range).

The Suns have absolutely benefited from somewhat of a soft schedule over the last few weeks, but it’s still a great sign that this team has managed to overcome the slow start – whatever the reason was for that.

In an improved Western Conference, it’ll be vital for the Suns to continue to carry this momentum into the holiday season. With the Golden State Warriors storming out of the gate, the Suns don’t have much wiggle room or much ground that they can give up.

The Warriors aren’t even fully healthy and they look like a juggernaut that’s going to be a huge factor in the Western Conference playoffs. I’m not sure that’s something anyone really saw coming.

For the defending West champs, that’s just another hurdle that they’ll have to cross in order to get back to the NBA Finals.

Nevertheless, it appears that the Suns have overcome their slow start to the season and are rounding into the contenders that they were last season. Considering all the noise that was surrounding this team just a couple of weeks ago (and some of it still surrounds the team), it’s a great sign that they’ve been able to play at this level over the past seven games.

Next. 3 reasons to believe in the Golden State Warriors' hot start. dark

The challenge they now have is to keep this level of play up as their schedule gets a bit tougher over the course of the next couple of weeks.