Suns Set to Face Minnesota in Round One of the Playoffs/Season Recap

Now that it’s finally all said and done, the Phoenix Suns’ regular season has come to an end with a 125-106 victory over the T-Wolves. This season has been a roller coaster, to say the least. With the playoffs starting, hopefully, the fun for the Suns is just beginning. The stage is now set with the Phoenix Suns facing the Minnesota Timberwolves in round one of the NBA Playoffs.

The Suns are entering the 2024 NBA Playoffs with a record of 49-33. That’s four more wins than they had last year, but unlike then, instead of the fourth seed, they are the sixth.

Out of all the teams Phoenix could have faced, Minnesota looks to be their most favorable matchup. Through three games vs. the T-Wolves, the Suns won all three matchups by 10 or more. Although none of that matters now, the Suns have guys who have been key contributors on playoff teams in the past. They will have the upper hand in experience matched up against the up-and-coming Timberwolves. The matchup between Devin Booker and Anthony Edwards should be fun to watch.

With there now being some downtime heading into the playoffs, we can finally reflect on how there have been countless ups and downs this season. Let’s take a look at some of the Phoenix Suns’ most impactful player performances this season.

We got 74 games worth of a healthy Kevin Durant, who in his age 35 season averaged 27.3 points per game along with All-NBA Defensive Team defense. KD has had an all-time Suns season, and he made it memorable with some huge games. Then we were shown time and time again that Kevin Durant is an all-time great. He also was an All-Star starter for the West. The question will be: can KD be great in the playoffs and remain healthy?

Devin Booker took on a new role this year, becoming the point guard. Many would call it a down year, but on paper, he averaged 27.1 points per game, a career-high 6.9 assists per game, and shot 49.3 percent from the field. Now, at times, Book wasn’t the best, but he was handed a new role on a team that has struggled to find its identity, so you would expect there to be a few growing pains. This year, Devin Booker was selected to his fourth All-Star game as a reserve for the West. It will be interesting to see if he can perform as he did in his historic 2023 playoff run.

Bradley Beal was traded to Phoenix in the offseason, and he played 52 games this season. Beal averaged 17.8 points per game and 5 assists. At first, it was a question mark to see if Beal would play or not, and it took a while for the highly anticipated debut of the Suns’ new big three, but when he played, he showed he can lead this team as well as sacrifice his role to help his team win. Bradley Beal was a good addition to this team, and as the season went on, he showed his worth on and off the court.

Grayson Allen was also traded to Phoenix in the offseason, and he shot a league-best 49.9 three-point percent. He showed hustle and gave performances with nine three-pointers made more than once. There would also be nights where members of the big three couldn’t get it going scoring-wise, so Grayson would step up and lead the game in scoring. It will be huge if the Suns can re-sign Grayson Allen in the offseason.

Some more contributors this season were Jusuf Nurkic, Eric Gordon, and Royce O’Neale. Nurkic was in the huge trade involving him and Grayson Allen coming to Phoenix, and he has been very solid in his role so far. Big Nurk had a career performance where he grabbed 31 rebounds. A lot of the offense ran through him as a facilitator making the right pass. Eric Gordon has had many roles this season, including coming off the bench or even starting. He was able to hit big shots and score at the rim with ease. His playoff experience will be huge heading into the postseason. During the season, the Suns only made one trade, and the centerpiece was Royce O’Neale. He is a guy who does a lot that doesn’t show up on stat sheets. Royce can also make the right play by finding his open teammates or hitting threes. In Royce’s seven seasons, he hasn’t missed the playoffs once, and his ability to defend any position will be huge for this team going forward.

Those were the biggest contributors from the Suns this year, but they also have guys like Isaiah Thomas, who was signed late this season, as well as Thaddeus Young. Both of those guys have been pivotal for this locker room that needed leadership. Another thing fans got to see was the emergence of the young Bol Bol. He was a fan favorite this year, and he has shown us that being mentored by Kevin Durant has helped his development. Bol can contribute to this team when given the opportunity.

While we looked at the good moments from this season, there were also some bad. One being that the identity of this team is unknown. More than once we have seen this team give up on games or just flat out not try. On a few occasions where the Phoenix Suns were facing a much worse opponent, they would still have trouble or even lose the game. That would be due to the team’s lack of effort and bad playmaking. Not having a traditional point guard was definitely a huge factor in a bad way this season. Injuries were also constant. Coaching was one of the many issues of the team leading to many questions surrounding the leadership of this team. Bradley Beal and Devin Booker were often seen on the injury report, and this made it hard for the team to connect early on. There are almost countless things that went wrong for the Suns this season, but heading into the playoffs, if they can perform well, then the outlook of this disappointing regular season will be erased.

Regardless of everything that has happened, we still do not know the full identity of the 2023-24 Phoenix Suns. They definitely have the star power, but do they have the drive to get it done? Will they make a title push, or will they have a disappointing early playoff exit? Those are the questions that will shortly be answered with the 2024 NBA Playoffs coming up.


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