Starting the week the Phoenix Suns have the worst record in the NBA (19-55) and sit 40 games behind the Western Conference-leading Houston Rockets.
As in, four-zero.
The Suns are the only team in the league with single-digit home wins (nine) and are an NBA-worst 9.9 in point differential. The narrative may have changed a bit from last season but the script has mainly stayed the same: bad basketball from start to finish with the tank-a-palooza in full effect.
Life on Planet Orange has been especially rough this spring. The Suns have lost 21 of their last 22 as they open a quick two-game homestand against the Celtics (Monday) and Clippers (Wednesday).
Just did some research. Suns have had two double-digit losing streaks this season. Only happened one other time in franchise history: Expansion year 1968-69
— scott bordow (@sbordow) March 24, 2018
“They’ve been unable to take advantage of Phoenix in terms of free-agency,” ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat referring to Phoenix’s nearly eight-year playoff drought. “They have drafted repeatedly in the lottery…but generally they have not been able to hit home runs. The combination of those two things has resulted in a team, quite frankly, that does not have much talent on it.”
Many around NBA inner-circles believe the incompetence starts at the top.
“It’s not a hot take to say Robert Sarver is not well-regarded in the league,” Windhorst explained. “I think if you look at what happened last year as an example. [Free-agent] Blake Griffin completely used the Suns. He threatened to go there to squeeze money out of the Clippers which he ended up getting. He never even went to the [Phoenix] meeting. That right there is what the Suns have become.”
Writing Alex Len story, was struck by this quote: “The last few years we’ve had three different coaches, the roster was changing every year. There was never really any consistency. It was like starting over every year.”
Might that perception deter free agents from signing here?
— scott bordow (@sbordow) March 21, 2018
One of the biggest upcoming moves is deciding on a permanent head coach. Some believe interim coach Jay Triano deserves a look, while others are hoping for a bigger name and, hopefully, bigger splash in the win-loss column moving forward.
“It’s going to be a hard sell for a quality coach to trust the organization,” Windhorst said to Cesmat. “That’s just reaping what you’ve sewn.”
It all adds up to a sad equation for the once-proud franchise.
“It’s unfortunate because when the Suns are good it’s good for the NBA,” Windhorst said. “It’s a wonderful place to be in the season. Players like playing there. They have great fans.”