This season was supposed to be different for the Phoenix Suns. After going up 2-0 on the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals, they lost four in a row as they fell short of the first NBA title in league history. Then, last year, an embarrassing game 7 blowout in the Western Conference Semifinals at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks after the Suns had been the best team in the league all year left a bad taste in the mouth of Suns fans.
But, when the team made a blockbuster move for NBA legend Kevin Durant at the trade deadline this year, they all of a sudden had the most intimidating starting lineup in the NBA. A big four of Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton was almost certainly the best top four in the league. While it took awhile for the Suns to get healthy, when the four of them got on the court together near the end of the season, the team looked great.
And, after an early hiccup in game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers that put them down 1-0, the Phoenix Suns ran off four straight wins to cruise into the 2nd round against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets. The teams split the first four games, with each winning their two home games.
But, the big news was Chris Paul’s injury in game 2 of the series that left a Phoenix Suns team that was already shorthanded depth-wise without one of their stars. The Suns lost game 5 in Denver, setting up a crucial game 6 in Phoenix to extend their season and keep their title hopes alive.
But, the day started out bad when they learned they would be without Ayton due to a rib contusion, and the game didn’t go much better. After a close first 9 minutes of the first quarter, the Nuggets closed the quarter on a vicious 17-0 run, and never looked back. They led by 30 points multiple times in the game, and the Phoenix Suns season came to an end, 125-100.
Durant and Booker did not have their best nights by any means, but the Phoenix Suns simply did not have the pieces with the injuries they had to take attention off of those two.
Still, it’s a second straight season the Phoenix Suns have been humiliated in a home elimination game, and people on Twitter took notice.
Turns out when you pair 2 of the biggest overrated, choke artists in sports history together on the Phoenix Suns, they’re still bums.
Kevin Durant and Chris Paul deserve each other.
— James T. Yoder (@JamesYoder) May 12, 2023
This is hilarious. Haven’t seen a collapse this bad since the 21-22 Phoenix Suns.
— Tristin T$ (@210Suns) May 12, 2023
the suns when they’re in a closeout game at home past the 1st round: pic.twitter.com/L90mQ93tSq
— Molly Morrison (@mollyhannahm) May 12, 2023
Suns getting whooped in another elimination game. Back to back years. Love to see it! pic.twitter.com/fxbdkCaMsF
— Glen (@Glenjr1988) May 12, 2023
phoenix suns absolutely hilarious franchise
— yahia 🐪 (@amasesis) May 12, 2023
The Phoenix Suns will now enter a crucial offseason with some flexibility to try to build some more depth around their stars, something that is badly needed.