The Phoenix Suns entered the 2022-23 with sky-high hopes and outsized expectations, fresh off a franchise record 62 wins.
Since then, the Suns have seen their share of highs and lows, landing superstar Kevin Durant in a deadline trade with Brooklyn, while muddling through off-court drama and injuries galore (including to Durant himself).
The net result for the club is a 40-35 record that puts the Suns in fourth place in the NBA Western Conference, 11 games behind Denver and behind the preseason expectations of Arizona gambling fans.
BetArizona.com, which has coverage of all things Arizona sports betting apps, broke down how previous No. 1 seeded Suns teams have responded the following season to determine how disappointing the 2022-23 squad has been.
Seasons After Suns Were No. 1 Seed
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2022-23 Suns Fail to Keep Up Momentum
Based on win percentage alone, it’s hard to argue that this year’s team has been anything but a disappointment.
The 2022-23 Suns squad has the lowest winning percentage of the franchise’s teams that won the West the year before, falling below the 1981-82 team that went from 57-25 to 46-36.
That team ultimately lost to the Kansas City Kings in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in seven games.
This year’s team has already missed out on its preseason win total (52.5). But there is a fairly significant bright side to the disappointing regular season — the Suns championship odds have jumped from +1000 preseason to +600 on BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona.
Despite Phoenix’s record and seed, it has the third best Arizona NBA betting championship odds behind only Milwaukee and Boston.
How Suns Can Fulfill Postseason Promise
Luckily for the Suns, Durant is slated to return to the team’s lineup Wednesday against the Minnesota, according to the Arizona Republic.
The two-time MVP has been out since March 5 with an ankle injury, playing three games with his new team before suffering that setback.
In those contest, Phoenix went 3-0, with Durant averaging 26.7 points per game in victories over Charlotte, Chicago and Dallas.
The Suns will need Durant to be in fine form, as Phoenix looks to lock up a top-four seed in the West. Currently the Suns are only a game and a half out of a spot in the NBA play-in tournament.
The Suns should get a bit of a reprieve down the stretch, as Tankathon says Phoenix has the 12th hardest strength of schedule of any NBA team at .520.
With seven games remaining in the regular season and showdowns against Western Conference top seed Denver, along with playoff contenders Minnesota, Oklahoma City and both L.A. teams on the docket, now is the time for the Suns to get it going.
That road begins with a home showdown against the Timberwolves on Wednesday night, before hosting the Nuggets on Friday.