Why the Phoenix Suns’ title hopes failed

(News4usonline) – It was very sad that the Phoenix Suns lost Game 7 of their NBA semifinals matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. I thought that they would win this game because the Suns are a good team even though their star player Devin Booker suffered an injury. If they did win Game 7 against the Mavericks, they would have played the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.

The Warriors beat the Mavericks before upending the Boston Celtics in six games to win their fourth NBA title in the last eight years. The Suns, meanwhile, have to think about what happened to their promising season. Phoenix had the best record in the NBA during the regular season. They played in the NBA Finals last year but came up short against the Milwaukee Bucks. They were expected to be in the NBA Finals this season.  

Reggie Jackson of the Clippers goes to the basket
June 26, 2021-Reggie Jackson of the Los Angeles Clippers goes to the rack in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns defeated the Clippers, 84-80. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline

According to Arizona sports, “A win would have sent the Valley’s oldest professional sports franchise to its second consecutive Western Conference Finals appearance, but the Suns may have played one of the worst games in franchise history.”

Phoenix fans are heartbroken after the team failed to reach the conference finals after posting a regular season record of 64-18. It didn’t make any sense that the Suns didn’t advance to the next round.  

Making matters worse, Phoenix had the audacity to lose Game 7 at home. The Suns were booed by their own fans after dropping the last game of a seven-game series. Some people see the loss as the Suns’ best and final chance to win the title, but they messed that up. For the Suns, Game 7 was one of the most important games in the franchise’s history.

The Suns losing to Dallas draws comparison to the Warriors’ 2017-18 season when Golden State advanced to the NBA Finals but fell short of winning a third straight title when Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant suffered injuries in Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors wound up winning the championship in six games. The difference between what happened to the Warriors and Phoenix is that the Suns didn’t even make it to the NBA Finals.     

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, right, is defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In the first two games against the Mavericks, the Suns were 2-0 in the series. I’m not sure how it’s possible that the Suns could have won the final two games. Chris Paul was doing good in the first two games and his stats were very good. However, from Game 3 to Game 7, things changed. Everything flipped for Paul and the Suns.   

According to a tweet from StatMuse, “Chris Paul is the first player ever to blow five 2-0 leads in a best-of-7 series.” That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

Bright Side Staff cited Phoenix players as being responsible for the Suns’ Game 7 loss.

Arizona Sports had this to say about the collapse, putting the onus of Phoenix’s postseason failure on the Suns’ stars and not on head coach Monty Williams.  

Williams took all the blame for the Suns’ nosedive to extinction, attempting to cover for the underwhelming performances from Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton. In an astonishing admission, Williams said he might’ve ridden the team too hard in the regular season. He attempted to minimize their failure, lamenting how the Suns just ran into a bad night at the worst possible time.”

On Fox Sports, host Nick Wright said that Chirs Paul and/or Devin Booker are blamed for the Game 7 loss. “Wright argued that the loss falls on Booker’s shoulders.” Wright also mentioned Paul.

“Chris Paul has reasons for his lack of success here. [Do] you know who doesn’t? Devin Booker,” he said. “Devin Booker’s mouth tried to cash a check that his play couldn’t back up. … We can blame them both, considering the fact that Luka had more points, rebounds [and] assists than Devin Booker and Chris Paul combined over the final two games. CP3 has some excuses that are explanations. … Devin Booker’s got none of them.”

Monty Williams
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams barking instructions to his team from the sidelines. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline

Paul gets most of the blame for the meltdown that Phoenix had. Paul is supposed to help Booker since Paul is more experienced in the NBA. Luka Doncic did much better than Paul and Booker together and he’s the only star player that the Mavericks have.   

It could be that Booker’s injuries might have been the cause the Suns lost to the Mavericks. Phoenix has a hard time winning ballgames when Booker is not in the lineup. After all, Booker did make the All-NBA first team. But injuries happen.  

It would have been interesting to watch the Suns play the Warriors in the Conference Finals. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this year with the Suns blowing Game 7 in the semifinal round. The Suns really have to win the NBA title next year because they played so well this season.

Paul has another chance to win the NBA title next year, but time is running out for the veteran point guard. He needs a title. The Suns need a championship. Whatever they need to do to win one, Phoenix needs to make it happen. Soon.        

Featured Image Caption: June 30, 2021-Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns (3) tries to drive around Terance Mann of the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Paul and the Suns defeated the Clippers, 130-103. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline