Phoenix Suns hit with harsh reality as they fall into 3-0 series hole in NBA Playoffs

The Phoenix Suns must face the reality that they're not a chamionship contender in the NBA.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Three
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Three / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Falling into a 3-0 series hold in their first-round NBA Playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, one thing is clear - the Phoenix Suns are no championship contender.

Over the last 12-15 months, there's a case to be made that there hasn't been a more aggressive team in trying to retool their roster in an attempt to push themselves forward as a championship contender than the Phoenix Suns. First in making the big move for Kevin Durant and then adding Bradley Beal and Jusuf Nurkic this past offseason as complementary pieces.

However, in the end, those big moves haven't amounted to much as the Suns are starring down a 3-0 series hole in the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In this series, the Suns have been hit with the harsh reality that they're simply not a championship contender. For all the talent they have on their roster, the Suns are close. And considering the big names they have on their roster, that's a gutting realization to have in a first-round series against the Timberwolves.

Heading into this season, the Suns were a trendy dark horse championship pick. After all, who wouldn't be a contender with KD and Devin Booker leading the way? Talent aside, the Suns have been completely thwarted by the Timberwolves and their championship-worthy defense.

Through the first week of the NBA Playoffs, the Suns have the fourth-worst offensive rating among postseason teams. Add in the fact that they also have the second-worst defensive rating, and it's easy to see why the Suns find themselves in a 3-0 series hole.

Phoenix also has one of the lowest-scoring benches in the playoffs and, quite frankly, their big 3 of KD, Booker, and Beal haven't been good enough to make up for their inefficiencies elsewhere.

The Phoenix Suns face an uncertain future

In a 3-0 series hole against the Timberwolves, the Suns' season is effectively over. The only question that remains is whether they'll be able to extend this series to save some face. But considering the Timberwolves have won the first three games of this series by an average of 18 points, it's looking more and more as if this all ends in a sweep.

But that could be the least of the Suns' worries at this point. There could be bigger questions on the horizon for Phoenix heading into the summer. Without much financial flexibility moving forward, this is a team that is "stuck" with its core. Of course, unless they'd be willing to trade KD or Booker - but we all know that isn't happening.

Beal has a no-trade clause that makes it nearly impossible to move. Nurkic may not have enough value on the trade market to make moving him worthwhile.

In the face of disappointment once again, the Suns face a very uncertain future. With how aggressive they've been in the past, it's likely they're going to try to continue to keep that same pattern heading into this summer. However, without much flexibility heading into the offseason, it's hard to see how this team can continue to improve on paper.

The Suns may be stuck, for better or worse. Unless, of course, they're willing to nuke their entire roster again. Quite frankly, with how far away they appear to be from contention, it may be something they have to consider.

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