Phoenix Suns go down an unknown path in search of championship

do you believe Phoenix Suns Are you one of a small handful of teams in the past decade that ran two back-to-back training camps in the same order after you stumbled into a deep playoff?

This is a long sentence. Let me break it.

  1. A deep playoff came with a short win At least once A conference final match but not the tournament
  2. Two Training Camps Later – That’s two full seasons where an average NBA team changes 40% of their roster
  3. same coach
  4. Same best players
  5. Looking back at the last 10 years (for consistency in the economic climate, in NBA terms)

I even set the bottom line, looking for any semblance of continuity across the league compared to the Sun. When the Phoenix Suns start their training camp next week, they will not only have the best players and coach from 2021 The NBA FinalsThey are set to have The same top eight players and a coach. Nobody does that. no one.

We’ve always preached continuity, and General Manager James Jones has this mantra like Gandalf carrying a crew or Galadriel carrying her brother’s knife.

The starting line-up is all set to return, plus Cameron Payne, Dario Sarek and Cameron Johnson, but even if there’s a deal or two in the coming days, you can be sure that at least six of those eight, including the top four, will be wearing the Suns’ uniform on Sunday. Monday on the occasion of the annual Media Day.

This level of continuity is uncommon – but you know what’s less common than that? The idea that making changes after a deep break makes you better.

Evidence shows, in fact, that changing your coach or one of your best players soon after a deep playoff in order to take that next step is often tried but almost always fails.

Let’s take a closer look.


not included

I carefully considered the conference finalists over the past ten years.

We do not guarantee Utah Jazz, for example, because they never made it to the conference finals with that group. I also do not guarantee Portland Trail Blazers Because while they did it Manufacture a WCF, you’ve been swept up. By that reasoning, I also have to leave out the 2015 Hawks, who have compared many to the current Suns except that these Hawks swept in their conference finals as well (2015).

Nor Golden State Warriors, because they did not fail. The Warriors won the 2015 title on their first foray after the second round and it’s all been boring for them ever since, with six finals and four championships in eight years. Bleach.

The 2019 Raptors are not included. They won everything in the one year they had Kohei, and they never came close again after he ran away.

Finally, Spurs are out of this. They immediately won it all with Pop and Tim Duncan in 1999 and had uncommon patience over the next 17 years while winning four more titles. Sure, they changed the surrounding parts these two times, but they never made their biggest menu decision in response to the supplement’s losses. Just to retire.

This leaves us with…


Teams that changed top player(s) and/or coach during two CF training camps/finals

  1. Dallas Mavericks – WCF in 2022, lost to the Warriors, on the spot Galen Bronson lost in free agency
  2. Atlanta Hawks – ECF in 2021, lost 4-2 to the Bucks, regained it for one season, lost in the first round 4-1 to the Heat, Added Dejounte Murray to draft picks During the second season
  3. Milwaukee Bucks – ECF in 2019, Jrue Holiday added To pick the draft, he won the finals in 2021, and lost in the second round in 2022 to Celtics
  4. Boston Celtics – ECF in 2017, lost to CAFs, Traded Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving, and coined Jason Tatumand made the ECF again…
  5. Boston Celtics, Continued – ECFs in 2018 and 2020 with the same 2+ coach, lost to the Cavs and Heat, changed coachwho participated in the 2022 finals, and lost to the Warriors
  6. Houston Rockets – The 2018 WCF, who lost 4-3 to the Warriors, stayed together for another year, dropping to the second round in 2019, Then she replaced Chris Paul for Russell WestbrookLost a lot of time since then
  7. Cleveland Cavaliers – 2015 The NBA Finalslost to the Warriors, Untrained (Blatt to Lue) Mid-Season, Won Championship 2016 on Warriors…
  8. Cleveland Cavaliers, Continued: The 2017 NBA Finals, Lost To The Warriors, I traded Keri Irving for Isaiah Thomaslost the 2018 finals to the Warriors, LeBron lost to Los Angeles
  9. Houston Rockets – 2015 WCF, lost 4-1 to Warriors, stayed together for another year (second round loss) by Resignation of the coach and change of other players About Harden
  10. Indiana Pacers – 2013 and 2014 ECF, Paul George lost due to injury, missed the playoffs, then Team disintegration Before George is healthy again.
  11. Oklahoma City Thunder – 2012 NBA Finals, Trade James Hardenlost in the second round next year, lost 2014 WCF, lost 4-2 to Tottenham, then Durant was injured for a year / missed the playoffs, Changed coach from Brooks to Donovanmade 2016 WCF again, lost 4-3 to the Warriors, then Durant Poulted at Free Agency

Let’s face it. A lot of these teams have one major thing in common – seven of 11 on this list, in fact – that they have lost to the Warriors in conference or finals since 2015, and in the aftermath of that loss, they decided to rethink their pecking order. None of the seven felt they could defeat the Warriors without much change.

All 11 teams won at least one game in the conference finals, but they just didn’t have the patience to keep their core together at two more training camps. In the cases of the Bucks and Hawks, they added to their core to double that, but that still flashes. This is still a deviation from what the four teams did in the next section.

Eleven teams. The 11 were a hit, but decided they wouldn’t go on to achieve more without a major change at the top, whether it was the coach or one of the top two stars.

How did they do?

  • 2 of 11 to be selected: The Mavericks and Hawks – they hope to return to that promised land this season, but none of the top 4 seed favorites in their conference, let alone a favorite)
  • 6 of 11 got worse: The changes didn’t make them any more, and eventually they swapped it out again
  • 3 of 11 got better: The 2021 Bucks added holiday Jrue and broke all the way, winning the NBA Championship. The 2016 Cavaliers (Lue) and 2022 (Udoka) replaced their veteran coach with an untested rookie coach and took more playoffs—from the Cavs to the Championship, the Celtics to the NBA Finals.

How can this apply to the sun?

He tells me there is almost no chance of winning a championship in 2023 if they change one or more Chris Paul, Devin Booker or Monty Williams. Those two cases (Caves and Celtics) who turned their coach into a novice who had never done this job before? I simply don’t see Suns getting any better with the release of Monty Williams. I just don’t.

It also tells me how difficult it is to improve by changing something less than the best player or coach. Of all the teams that made the list, only the Bucks, by adding Jrue Holiday to the heart of Middleton, Giannis and Mike Budenholzer were able to delve deeper into the playoffs. But even there, they added a non-all-star supporting player, who is just below Giannis and Middleton, but not much better than Michael Bridges or Dender Eaton.

In an ideal world, the Suns would use Project Capital as Hawks and Bucks did just to add another player to the top four without losing any of them, or a promotion over Jae Crowder or even Cameron Johnson.

Unfortunately, the most realistic world if the Suns fail again is to do what six of the teams on this list have done, by swapping one of their already top 40 players (Ayton?) for another player out of the 40, hoping for the better with a new ranking.

I know there’s a lot of anxiety about Chris Paul here because he’s 37 now, but the man is still one of the top 20 players in the league this season (top 25 at worst), and it just doesn’t make sense to cut him down. We hope the end result will be better. Plus, his contract is much easier to transfer next summer than now (worst case: just $15 million guaranteed, waived and five-year stretches for just $3 million realized each year).


Teams that have maintained themselves with the best players + coach for more than two years after losing CF or Finals

  1. Phoenix Suns – 2021 NBA Finals, lost 4-2 to the Bucks, and relegated to the second round in 2022, Still ongoing
  2. Los Angeles Clippers – Western Conference finals 2021, Kawhi lost Leonard due to injury, lost 4-2 to the Suns, and missed the 2022 qualifiers with injuries, Still ongoing
  3. Miami Heat – 2020 NBA Finals, lost 4-2 to LakersHe suffered injuries in 2021, and participated in the Confederation Cup finals in 2022, losing 4-3 to the Celtics, Still ongoing
  4. Denver Nuggets – Western Conference Finals 2020, lost 4-2 to the Lakers, and suffered injuries in 2021 and 2022, Still ongoing

Four teams. That’s all I can find. You might say “Ah that’s because they’re the latest losers,” but no that’s not all.

None of the 11 teams in the previous division reached second place training camp Together after losing the deep match without making a major change. This is a severe lack of patience.

However, this year four contenders are showing more patience than anyone else. why? I do not know. They are all paying a price to keep their teams safe. The Clippers are set to pay the league’s biggest salary ($192 million + luxury tax), while the Suns (7th), the Nuggets (9) and the Heat (12) They are all in the top 12. The only teams spending more money than the Suns next year are the Clippers, Warriors, Nets, Bucks, Celtics and Lakers. All but one of the contenders, the sixth has LeBron and won the championship just two seasons ago.

It’s one thing for the rebuilding team to stand idly by, considering they have fewer players on market rate contracts. It’s quite another thing to keep investing big money in a group that may have already reached its peak.

However, Clippers, Nuggets, Heat and Suns all believe the peak is yet to come.

All four of these teams are rivals, but all four depend on health to get them there. They have kept their teams together because they believe they can win a championship in good health all season, including the playoffs. Most likely, no more than two of these teams get their full wish. Maybe not more than one.

The Nuggets (Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.) and the Clippers (Kohi Leonard, Paul George) have both seen full seasons hit, but they’re now starting training camp next week (probably) with a full eviction for the first time in over a year.

Of these two teams, the Suns and Heat were the healthiest, but both saw their more experienced star suffer frequent injuries at the worst of times. Chris Paul (The Suns) and Jimmy Butler (Heat) are still NBA All-Star/All-Star players but both have been compromised in the recent playoff rounds.

It is likely that any of these shortstop teams will once again change gears and join the cadre of those who started rolling the dice in big moves because they couldn’t wait any longer for that core to hit the promised land.

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