Suns
DENVER, CO – JUNE 13: Chris Paul (3) and Torrey Craig (12) listen to Devin Booker (1) of the Phoenix Suns during the fourth quarter of Phoenix’s series-clinching 125-118 win over the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Photo by Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns completed the improbable last night, sweeping the MVP-led Nuggets. The camaraderie that Monty Williams has instilled in his team is outstanding, and the Phoenix Suns now have their best shot to win a title in 28 years. The basketball world is set on the idea of the Suns playing the Nets in the NBA Finals, but they do need to get through the Western Conference Finals first.

Potential Opponents

The Suns will play the winner of the Clippers-Jazz series, which Utah currently leads 2-1, in the Western Conference Finals. Both teams are certainly talented enough to compete with the Suns, but will either be consistent enough?

The Clippers

When both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are on, the Clippers become nearly unbeatable. However, this rarely occurs. In their 10 playoff games this season, Leonard and George have only had 3 games where both have shot 50% or higher from the field. The Clippers are also without Serge Ibaka, who is out for the season after receiving back surgery, and have grown increasingly reliant on Reggie Jackson, who is averaging 16.3 ppg this postseason. Listen, Jackson has been playing his ass off in these playoffs, but the fact that he is the third option right now is telling. Good for the Clippers if they come back and beat the Jazz, but I do not see the Clips beating the Suns if they advance.

The Jazz

Budding superstar versus budding superstar. A Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell matchup would be a lot of fun, and the Jazz are a solid team that would match up well against the Suns. Utah and Phoenix have similar bench depth, but the Jazz also tout one of the best offenses remaining in the postseason and the team has a closeout guy in Mitchell who performs in clutch moments. One thing the Jazz do not have, however, is Chris Paul. Paul alone is enough to give teams headaches and adding Booker and Deandre Ayton to the mix only exacerbates problems for Phoenix’s opponents. The Jazz would put up a great fight against the Suns, but Phoenix went 3-0 against Utah this season for a reason.

Why The Suns Can Beat the Nets

The Nets’ chances of even making the finals are shaky now, as Kyrie Irving went down with an ankle injury in Game 4 of the Bucks-Nets series and James Harden is already out with a hamstring injury. Kevin Durant, as talented a player as he is, simply cannot drag the rest of the Nets roster to the finals by himself, so a Nets roster that makes the finals would likely require a healthy Irving and Harden.

If the Nets end up meeting the Suns in the finals, they had better hope they are healthy. Phoenix has the best facilitator in the game in CP3 and one of the best iso scorers in Booker. This on its own would not be enough to overcome Brooklyn’s firepower, but Pheonix has more than their top two players. Their biggest positional mismatch would be Ayton, especially if he were guarded by Blake Griffin. Ayton had the toughest matchup in Phoenix’s matchup against the Nuggets, as MVP Nikola Jokic was his responsibility, but Ayton still averaged over 14 points and 10 rebounds per game. If Ayton is able to be an x-factor in a potential Nets-Suns series, his team would have a chance to win.

Depth Over Talent

While the Nets would have a clear talent advantage over the Suns, the latter would make up for it with their depth, as the Phoenix role players understand their responsibilities within the structure of the team. Mikal Bridges is emerging as a valuable talent, Jae Crowder is a great 3-and-D player, Cam Johnson has become a reliable option off the bench, and Cameron Payne has been instant offense off the bench as well. While Brooklyn’s bench compliments their starting lineup well, they simply are not talented enough to compete with the Suns’ depth. If Durant, Harden, and Irving are all playing well simultaneously, the Nets are unstoppable, but it is unrealistic to assume that this will occur more than once or twice in a series, especially the NBA Finals.

Any NBA fan without a dog in the fight should be rooting for this matchup, assuming the Nets are healthy. Paul could win his first ring or Steve Nash, as the coach of the Nets, could be the reason his former franchise fails to win its first NBA championship. It would be a crazy series, so let us pray that the basketball gods allow us to see this NBA finals matchup.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!!

FOLLOW US ON TWITCH!!

Signing up with SimBull also helps us too! Use our link – https://simbull.app/vendetta with the promo code “vendetta” for a $10 deposit bonus.