Although Phoenix Suns flopped out of the postseason's second round, they are a team ready to make an impactful return to the NBA Finals. The Suns have added seven new players to the roster for 2022/23, considerably strengthening their squad in what is a sign that they intend to make this season better than the last.
Although most do not expect them to be true title contenders due to the previous two playoffs, the new season is another opportunity for the Suns to navigate the 82-game regular season successfully. The first six games in the new season will be an early testing season for the Suns, and will be games to watch for those interested in betting on the NBA for clues about how the team is likely to perform this year.
Following the off-season, the Suns have brought on-board players such as Damion Lee, Josh Okogie, and Jock Landale. They also brought back Deandre Ayton and Bismack Biyombo. Other key members of the squad include Devin Booker and Chris Paul.
The Suns have the potential to be outstanding and have the chance of making it to the NBA finals, notwithstanding their previous performance.
2021/22 commenced with a high expectation for the Phoenix Suns, considering their growth as a team. Many commentators saw them as potential candidates for the champion title in the 2022 NBA Finals. However, this expectation dwindled as they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs.
In the 2021-2022 season, the Suns eliminated the LA Lakers from playoff contention for a record 63rd win; they also defeated New Orleans Pelicans in the first round. They missed the playoffs in the 2019-2020 season because the Memphis Grizzlies held a tiebreaker over them. However, the Phoenix won all eight games they played in the bubble.
The Phoenix Sun was established in 1968, and of all teams in their division, they are the only one not based in California. They began to play as an expansion team in 1968, although they didn't have outstanding performances until the 1970s after they partnered Dick Van Arsdale and Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal.
Phoenix reached the NBA finals in 1976, in a season that’s regarded as one the biggest upsets in the history of the NBA. However, after failing to secure a championship, they rebuilt around Walter Davis for most of the 1980s until they signed Kevin Johnson in 1988. The Suns were the only pro sports team in the state until the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988.
The team has made over 29 playoffs, nine trips to the Western Conference Finals, and went further to the NBA Finals without winning the championship. This has made the Suns the team with the highest winning percentage, never to have won an NBA championship.
The Phoenix Sun’s first 24 seasons were played at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Arizona, popularly known as the Madhouse on McDowell. Then, in 1992, the Suns moved into their home game arena in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, called The Footprint Center, formerly known as the America West Arena or Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The center opened on June 6, 1992, and was upgraded to keep it competitive economically. The center features a remarkable viewing experience, including a private outdoor entrance accessible by club members on the southeast side of the arena.
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most prominent rivals of the Phoenix Suns. The first-ever playoff between the Lakers and the Suns was in 1970, when the Suns reached an astounding feat by leading the Lakers 3-1 in the opening round. The Suns and the Lakers met five times in the 1980s playoffs, with the Lakers emerging victorious every time. In 1990, the Suns team led by Kevin Johnson, Tom Chambers, and Jeff Hornacek had a breakthrough against the Lakers.
The Suns secured victory against the Lakers three years later, having a 2-0 first-round deficit against the Lakers. A new era was introduced to the rivalry in the 21st Century. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash led the Lakers team.
The Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks played in the same Midwest division in the early years. The Milwaukee-Suns rivalry started with the 1969 infamous coin flip that would decide who would have the first pick in that year's draft. To complicate their rivalry, the playoff rules at that time favored the Phoenix.
Another notable rivalry for the Suns is with the Chicago Bulls, a team that has constantly stood in the Suns' way over the years. They finished twice ahead of the Suns in the contest for the division's second and last playoff bid. When the Bulls shifted to the Eastern Conference, the rivalry was rebirthed when the two teams met in 1992 for the ultimate prize. Unfortunately for the Suns this was during the Michael Jordan era and the Bulls at the time were one of the best teams to play the game, winning the Finals 4-2.