When the Phoenix Suns lost the first three games of the season by a combined 92 points, it was easy to assume that it would be a (very) long campaign for the franchise. That ineptitude led to Eric Bledsoe being traded to Milwaukee and head coach Earl Watson being fired but, for a short period of time, the Suns looked to be on an improved trajectory that included mediocre on-court results instead of horrific ones.
Recently, though, the Suns are back to their old ways and, after a Monday evening blowout loss to the Warriors, Phoenix is 4-16 since the calendar flipped to 2018. Beyond that, Devin Booker and company have dropped six in a row and 14 of 16 games on the way to potential pole position in the race for ping-pong balls.
In some ways, Phoenix’s season-long peripheral numbers are still being impacted by the opening stretch of disaster (and recent injury issues for Booker) but the Suns are, in fact, struggling at a high level. Oddly, the Suns almost became buyers at the trade deadline, picking up Elfrid Payton at a highly reduced cost, but that infusion of talent at point guard can only go so far and, even with Phoenix’s young players displaying encouraging individual signs, the overarching picture is fairly ugly for the Suns at the moment.
There is a multi-way battle going on for the top few spots in the NBA Draft Lottery and the Suns are simply one entity involved. If the team plays the way it has in 2018, though, there is every reason to believe that Phoenix will enter that fateful night in May with the best chance at the No. 1 overall pick.
Where do the Suns land this week in our Dime Power Rankings? Let’s go to the tape.