Wow. damn wow
After the butt-smashing of Luka Dončić and the Mavs unleashed on the Suns in Game 7 on Sunday, “wow” was the only word that came to mind. Oh, that and the word “embarrassing”. Being 30 points down at home in a game where you barely get 27 points in 24 minutes is downright shameful. In that game, Phoenix was down 46 and ultimately down lost 123-90. The first question that comes to mind is where is Phoenix going after this debacle?
I have to start with Christopher Emmanuel Paul first and one other flame after the season by the “Point God”. There was nothing godlike about his performance Sunday night in Phoenix. Paul and his wingman Devin Booker shot together 0 to 11 in the first half from the field. From the third game of this series, Paul looked like a player who hit a concrete wall and had no interest in continuing. This was the fifth time in Paul’s career that his team had taken a 2-0 lead and lost the series.
Paul turned 37 on May 6 and played great that day in Game 2 with a Suns win and CP3 had his highest score of the series at 28 points. Paul had just another 47 points in the last five games of the series, including 10 in the deciding game. After the game, a report came out that Paul had sustained a quad injury earlier in the series. I’m not sure if that’s the reason for Paul’s struggles, but something was going on. After the second game, Paul just played every game less aggressively.
Devin Booker is also not without blame as he is said to be the team’s offensive assassin and he was held off the field 3 of 14 and missed all four of his three-point attempts. We’re talking about a player in Booker who finished fourth in MVP voting, one spot ahead of Luka, who went on to win the Suns all series. Now, after falling way short in the playoffs, Booker will likely land a juicy contract worth extending Somewhere around $210 million.
Of course, Booker’s potential deal will affect the extension DeAndre Ayton has been looking for since last summer. conversations about a new business for Ayton last summer went well into October and the deadline when the regular season started. Ayton is still unsigned and will be a limited free agent this summer. There’s a good chance Ayton won’t be a Sun next season.
This summer, barring the possible loss of Ayton over this contract dispute, JaVale McGee and Bismack Biyombo are both full free agents. Phoenix could lose most of its size on the apron in an offseason. Not only would they lose in size, but the chemistry and continuity this team has built over the past few years could suffer. In game seven, however, Ayton didn’t do much to help his cause, scoring five points on five shots.
If the Suns think this series has been tough, the West isn’t going to get any easier next year. Some people think that Dončić is already too cocky. He’s in the conference finals after almost nobody picked them to get this far. With newfound confidence and swagger, Luke and the Mavs are going to hell in the next season. The Clippers should be back in full force with the return of Kawhi Leonard.
Don’t forget the Nuggets got Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back. Memphis will be back with another year of experience, as can be said for Minnesota. And the Warriors are firmly back in the mix now, as we’ve seen this season. The Mavericks may have slammed the Suns’ window with that 33-point beating.
This Phoenix run for a title was never a long one. That can’t be the case when you sign Paul, a player who was already 35 years old. Their surprise run to the final last year was great and they came close, then followed by a league-best record of nearly 10 games.
This is not how the season should end for the Suns. It should be Phoenix vs. Golden State in the WCF. CP3 again against Steph Curry. Instead, the Suns stumble into the offseason with far more questions than they have answers right now.