Storming Through Playoffs, Suns Continue Remarkable Rebuild

BetArizona.com

By Mark Strotman

In what has to be one of the more remarkable homegrown rebuilds in recent memory, the Phoenix Suns have gone from a team that won 19 games in 2019 to a team that, two short years later, finds itself eight wins away from the first NBA championship in franchise history.

According to NBA betting sites, Monty Williams’ group began the season with +4000 odds to win the NBA Finals, similar to the James Harden-led Rockets (+3000) and Blazers (+5000). Those odds continued to shrink as Phoenix, led by Chris Paul and Devin Booker, started the season 5-1, then got to 20-10, then got to 36-14.

They were established contenders by the time the postseason rolled around, and they made quick work of the hobbled Lakers in Round 1 before sweeping the Nuggets in Round 2. They head to the Western Conference Finals with +120 odds to win that series on DraftKings Sportsbook and +400 to win the title as they wait for the Jazz-Clippers series to end.

Suns with an already impressive playoff resume

The Suns were the No. 2 seed in the West, but no one is going to argue that they had an easy route to get to where they are. It’s safe to say that they pulled the most difficult No. 7 seed in NBA history when the banged-up Lakers got healthy just in time for the play-in tournament, knocking off Steph Curry and the Warriors to earn a date with the Suns.

In Round 2, they were greeted by league MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets who, even without Jamal Murray, had plenty of firepower and had won 13 of 18 heading into the postseason.

And yet, the Suns seemingly breezed through both. Say what you will about the injury to Anthony Davis, but Phoenix took advantage. After falling down 2-1 to LA, the Suns have won seven straight games (and covered in all seven) and have the NBA’s No. 2 defense in the playoffs, a remarkable feat considering who they’ve played.

Winning a title is never easy, but going through LeBron James, the league MVP, either the NBA’s best team by record (Jazz) or Kawhi Leonard, followed by the East champion would be one of the more impressive resumes of an NBA champion.

Suns Match Up Well With Remaining Teams

Whoever the Suns face in the Western Conference Finals, they should feel good about their chances of advancing to their first NBA Finals since 1993.

Should they face off against the third-seeded Clippers, they would get homecourt advantage. That’s important considering at home the Suns are 31-10 straight up and an NBA-best 27-14 against the spread. They’re 4-1 straight up and against in the playoffs with a massive +14.4 net rating.

Should the Jazz move through to Round 2, Phoenix would be on the road but squaring off against a team they beat all three times during the regular season. One of those instances in late April did not include Donovan Mitchell, but there’s still a mental edge that Phoenix would enter the series with on the road against the Jazz.

So with either opponent, the Suns should feel confident about bringing the NBA Finals back to Arizona.

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WRITTEN BY
BetArizona.com
Mark Strotman
Mark Strotman writes about the NBA and sports betting for BetArizona.com. He is a veteran sports journalist who covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports.
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Mark Strotman writes about the NBA and sports betting for BetArizona.com. He is a veteran sports journalist who covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports.
... Read More