Heading into the postseason, the Suns looked like the most complete team in the NBA. The Mavericks thought otherwise though, embarrassing Phoenix 123-90 in Game 7 to knock them from the postseason.
Phoenix is left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of one of the largest home Game 7 defeats in NBA history. The only larger home loss in a Game 7 was the very first Game 7 in 1948, in which the St. Louis Bombers lost 85-46.
Losing in a fashion only “bested” by a franchise that folded in 1950 is not the way many expected the Suns to finish the year.
The Suns looked unstoppable at times this season. But Chris Paul is 37. Devin Booker isn’t equipped to carry a franchise alone – he barely got a look from MVP voters despite the Suns’ 64 wins. Deandre Ayton is going to have to be paid a max or let to walk after a tumultuous 17-minute showing in Game 7.
Phoenix has a lot of questions to answer, and will likely need to make some key additions this offseason to return to their contender status.
Let’s take a look at three trade targets the Suns should pursue this offseason.
The glaring issue with the Phoenix Suns in Game 7 was their offense. With active defense from Dallas, the Suns’ offense became predictable, uninspired, and ineffective. 27 points at half-time is a great figure for one player – Luka hit that in Game 1 Sunday night. 27 points at half-time is AWFUL for an entire team, but it’s all the Suns could muster through 24 minutes.
The Suns clearly lacked a go-to scorer in this game. Chris Paul can occasionally be that, but at 37 he simply didn’t have it every game. Devin Booker can score a lot – but he does his best work off the ball. He can’t generate on-ball advantages the way some of the game’s elite scorers do.