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The Phoenix Suns’ surprisingly and sluggish 1-and-3 start suddenly feels like a lifetime ago now.

Since falling 110-107 at home to the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 27, Monty Williams’ group has only lost six games. Their 121-111 home win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night moved Phoenix to 41-9 on the year.

This was Phoenix’s 11th straight victory, and the 41-9 mark through 50 games is the best in franchise’s history, via The Athletic.

The red-hot Golden State Warriors are the only NBA team within striking distance of Phoenix for the top record. The Dubs improved their record to 39-13 on Tuesday night following a hard-fought 124-120 road win over the San Antonio Spurs,

Although the Suns own the NBA’s best record, most sportsbooks in Arizona give the Nets and Warriors higher championship odds.

The Nets may be considered the heavy favorites, but the health of their “big three” will be a deciding factor on how far they go. Kevin Durant is sidelined with a knee injury, and Kyrie Irving (unvaccinated) isn’t eligible to play home games because of state mandates.


Golden State has been surging ever since Klay Thompson returned, but they’re undoubtedly missing defensive stalwart Draymond Green. The future Hall of Famer is still sidelined with a back injury, and it’s still unclear when he may return to action.

We don’t know how all the rosters will look come playoff time. But as it stands, the Suns are unquestionably the best team in the league right now.

The Western Conference Is More Manageable This Year

Last year, there were seven teams in the West with a realistic shot of winning the title: The Suns, Dallas Mavericks, top-seeded Utah Jazz, defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers.

The Suns got past the Lakers, Nuggets and Clippers (who didn’t have Kawhi Leonard in the Conference Finals) to reach the NBA Finals.

But the West, surprisingly, has been far less dangerous this year. The Lakers and Clippers have struggled to get above .500, the Trail Blazers are fighting for a play-in berth, Luka Doncic has struggled with consistency for Dallas and the Nuggets are greatly missing Jamal Murray, who will hopefully return at some point this season.

The Memphis Grizzlies have been a pleasant surprise in the West, but it’s hard to like their chances against the deeper, more skilled and experienced Suns in a best-of-seven series.

The ultra-stingy Jazz would be a tough matchup for Phoenix, but it’s hard to ignore Utah’s constant underachieving performances in the playoffs.

Phoenix Suns

Whereas last year, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker showed no stage is too high for them. Phoenix boasts the NBA’s third-best offensive rating and the second-best defensive rating.

Though the Warriors are slightly more sound defensively, their offense relies too much on Stephen Curry. They don’t have scoring as deep and balanced as the Suns, and that is a major concern in a potential best-of-seven.

The Warriors sit outside the top 10 in both points for and points against, which is alarming for any team with championship aspirations. This isn’t the old Dubs team that had Kevin Durant and a healthier Thompson for three years.

Phoenix can’t be considered the undisputed heavy favorites to win the NBA Championship. The field is still fairly open, especially in the Eastern Conference.

But given their roster depth, experience and ultra-dominant play at both ends of the court, the Suns should be considered the team to beat here.

Suns Overmatch Every Most Eastern Conference Team…Except Nets

The Suns lost a difficult but rather evenly-matched series to Milwaukee a year ago.

This year, the East doesn’t have one team that’s considered the overwhelming favorite to reach the finals. As previously noted, the Nets are trying to get by without Durant and with Irving as a part-time player.

Milwaukee will be dangerous as always, but there’s a case to be made that this year’s Suns would have overwhelmed the 2020-21 version of the Bucks.

The Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers have been fun stories, but both clubs lack the star power and deep playoff experience. The Philadelphia 76ers are a threat, but if they couldn’t reach the NBA Finals with Ben Simmons, what are the odds they finally break through without him?

Looking at the East, only the Nets look like they’d be favored over Phoenix in a best-of-seven. But will their “big three” be healthy by then? That’s the main concern here, and by no means are the Nets guaranteed a trip to the Conference Finals right now.

Add it all up, and regardless of what the betting odds say, the Suns will simply be the team to beat come playoff time.

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