Paired with Tuesday’s disturbing rout in Memphis, the Suns' defense-oriented triumph in Houston the following night provides one important message.

And that message is ... drum roll ... we're looking at raging inconsistency.

Losing by 19 points to a Grizzlies team competing without Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol is alarming, regardless of where it occurs or the quality of Jon Leuer's and Ed Davis' auditions for the starring role in a "Teen Wolf" sequel. But holding the league’s third-ranked offense (in terms of efficiency, not points per game) to 35 percent shooting one night later is beyond commendable.

So what gives?

Well, the Suns certainly do have some young players on the roster, but aside from Miles Plumlee, most of their rotation players have multiple years of NBA experience. Age shouldn’t be an excuse.

Lack of elite talent, however, is. Although the Suns and their fans have received almost nightly evidence that Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are really good, the lack of a game-changing star was established a while ago.

For this season, at least, that situation -- based on the surprise of a 10-9 start -- makes us wonder if the Suns really have a shot at making the playoffs.

Well, if they could jump to the Eastern Conference, the Suns might have a shot at the third seed. But out West, they currently sit in 10th (percentage points behind the Grizzlies), with the Lakers and Pelicans lurking a half-game behind them.