Win Or Bust: Why the Phoenix Suns Need to Win an NBA Title

Why the Phoenix Suns Need to Win an NBA Title image

📖 Published on: March 22nd, 2024

✍️ Updated: March 26th, 2024

⏳ 8 mins read


A lot of narratives are about to engulf the Western Conference in the NBA this season, and one of these interesting storylines is how the Phoenix Suns will come up with an impressive shift in their games to make the most of their chances and win a title. But can the Suns finally beat the odds and win its first NBA title?


This season will likely be something to remember for the Suns as they hope to come up with a massive climb in the postseason and make the big push that they have been looking for since the 2021 NBA Finals. We all know that the team has seen some tough frustrations in the past few years, and it seems that this is the final straw for them.


Why Frustration is Setting in for the Suns?


The Suns are noticeably frustrated with the way things are turning out for them so far this season as the team was expected to come up with the first seed in the Western Conference. After all, a lineup that boasts Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, and Devin Booker along with a strong supporting cast is a contender that could have dominated the Western Conference. Instead, the Suns are sitting at the eighth seed heading into the final week of March. With just a few games left in the season, the Suns would not want to find themselves in the Play-In mix.


The Suns were eliminated in the 2023 NBA Playoffs image


The Play-In Tournament is an extension of the regular season and the first leg of the NBA Playoffs. For teams in the 9th and 10th seed, it means they have to win twice to get the final two spots in the Playoffs, while the 6th and 7th seed will only have to win once to get their shot at the postseason. For the Suns to be in that position, it already means that they will have to fight for their chance to win a title – another factor to add to their frustrations as a team among many others that we will discuss below.


Kevin Durant and the Next Chapter Syndrome


Kevin Durant may leave Phoenix if they lose this year image

It is no secret that Kevin Durant has been continuously criticized for his decisions to move from one team to another with the hopes of increasing his chances to win in the NBA Finals. It can be remembered that Durant already had the 73-9 Warriors on their heels when he choked a 3-1 lead in the 2016 Western Conference Finals – before proceeding to join the Warriors in the offseason and winning two titles with them. He would then go on to play for the Brooklyn Nets for two full seasons before requesting to be traded to the Phoenix Suns in the middle of the 2022-23 season. See the trend that he's been doing here in the past few years? The Suns are next in line without a doubt.


Well, Durant managed to sneak the Suns past to the second round of the NBA Playoffs last season, but they fell to Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets (who would go on to win the NBA Finals that year), suffering a humiliating loss in Game 5 at home, and that definitely shocked a lot of fans as it was the second time that they saw a semis exit in the NBA Playoffs. Durant was feared to be leaving the team right away, but it seems that his loyalty would be tested with the Suns this season – especially if they don’t get a favorable result by the end of the campaign.


A Closing Window in the Western Conference


The Western Conference has been a beast this season, and that has been the reason why the Suns just had a tough time in making a massive climb to the top of the standings. This is why the Suns need to make the most of their chances and grab the big opportunity that they have on that championship window as more contenders are set to emerge in the West. We have already seen the Minnesota Timberwolves emerge early and then the shocking arrival of the young Oklahoma City Thunder. In fact, the top 10 of the Western Conference is already a stacked set of teams, and let’s not forget that there are still teams in the bottom of the West who has what it takes to be a contender next season.


The Suns are entering the peak of the Western Conference with more contenders image


That being said, this season seems to be the best chance for the Suns to at least win a single title before other contenders dominate the West and Phoenix falls out of the picture if they fail to keep all their stars and a competitive bench unit. The Thunder, Wolves, Nuggets, Rockets, Spurs, and Kings are all expected to be top dogs in the West sooner or later, and this is something inevitable that the Suns should win now more than ever.


Budget Limits and Star Satisfaction


It’s not every day that you get to bring together a trio of the best and elite scorers in the NBA. Imagine a lethal scoring lineup of Durant, Beal, and Booker – all of whom had their fair share of massive scoring numbers in their careers. However, satisfaction is something that the team has to consider if they are going to keep this core for the long run. You don’t have to think twice that Durant is playing for winner, and Beal moved away from being Washington’s guy to get a better chance at an NBA title – a trip to the NBA Finals still far from his career.

On top of that, extending a deals with these stars will be challenging enough if they don’t win a title, which can be a bargaining factor to keep all three stars together in one single team.

Will the Suns keep its big three this offseason image


You won’t get to extend a max offer to keep all these three stars thanks to the tough cap space situation by the Suns, which means one will have to take a pay cut, or all of them to get to max value. That is something that is impossible if these stars are not satisfied, with their results in the NBA Playoffs all the way to the style of management that they are getting in the team. It all boils down to their winning chances, which one can argue, is now.


Will the Phoenix Suns Emerge as NBA Champions?


It is hard to predict how the Suns will actually emerge as the champions for the 2023-24 NBA season. With the way the Western Conference is rolling right now and the way Phoenix is playing right now, it is hard to bet on their chances to win. However, everybody loves an underdog story, and the Suns might just be able to achieve that with the Playoffs in the midst. However, they will have to brave their way to the top of the league if they are going to write their story – and win an NBA title for the first time in franchise history.


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