If I told you that the Phoenix Suns would be just two games behind the eighth seed Memphis Grizzlies two weeks ago, you probably would have called me crazy. It kind of looked like the Suns were thrown into the bubble because the league wanted to add a non-playoff team from the East, so they had to add an additional non-playoff team in the West to make the total number of teams in the bubble even. While that may have been the case, the Suns have been making the most of their opportunity.
The Suns opened their seeding games by taking on the depleted Washington Wizards. With no Bradley Beal or Dāvis Bertāns, the Wizards are probably the worst team in the bubble. The Suns came out and took care of business, which wasn’t that shocking.
Next, the Suns took on the Dallas Mavericks. This was a game that the Mavericks were expected to win. During the first half, it looked like it was going to go exactly as expected with the Mavericks leading at the half 73 to 60. In a surprising turn, the Suns came out firing in the second half and took the lead entering the fourth quarter. In the fourth, the Suns played well, and despite Devin Booker fouling out with about two minutes remaining, they held on and got the win, 117-115.
The Suns would then take on the number two seed Los Angels Clippers. The Clippers were heavy favorites with both of their stars playing and Lou Williams returning. Right off the bat, though, you could tell the Suns were not messing around. The Suns led at halftime 63 to 56, but in the second half, the Clippers responded, and the game was coming down to the wire. Devin Booker had the ball with the shot clock off, and while being double teamed by two of the leagues best defenders in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, he hit an insane step-back jumper to give the Suns the win. The Suns shocked the NBA world by beating the Clippers and advancing to 3-0 in the bubble.
The Suns then had a tough matchup going up against MJ, I mean TJ, Warren and the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers, who were 3-0 too, were playing very well and it would be no easy task to take them down. The Suns did an amazing job ending Warrens hot streak, holding him to only 16 points. A well-rounded game by the Suns propelled them to a 114-99 victory and a 4-0 bubble record.
With the ninth seed now a very realistic expectation for the Suns, the pressure was on as they would take on the Miami Heat. The game was back and forth, but the Suns took the lead late in the fourth quarter, and they didn’t look back. They closed out the game 119-112 and moved two games back of the eighth seed and just half a game back of the ninth seed.
The run the Suns have gone on over the past two weeks or so has been incredible. No one believed in them, but they came out and balled, silencing all of their doubters. I will be rooting for them to make the playoffs, but even if they don’t, this run is something to be proud of as an organization.