Entering the 2021 NBA season, nobody was expecting the Suns to make a whole lot of noise.
Even after the acquisition of Chris Paul, they were a young and mostly inexperienced squad who had not even made the playoffs the season before.
Throughout the following few months, however, Phoenix would prove to be a truly talented and capable bunch, thanks partly to the leadership of Chris Paul and also the rising talent of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.
They would end the season on a FInals loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, with vows to come back stronger than ever in the '21-'22 campaign.
But, in a chat on 'The Jump,' Matt Barnes explained why he doesn't think the Suns are going to repeat their run in the upcoming season:
(start at 1:50)
“Love CP! Love Book! Experience is the best teacher and they have that now. But if the West is healthy, it’s going to be loaded, and it’s going to be tough to get out.
I wouldn’t bet on them, with all due respect. Like I said, great young team, one of the best floor generals we’ve ever seen in the history of this game. But again, a lot of things lined up perfect for them to do what they did last year.”
The Suns have plenty of talent and a run in the playoffs that has given them invaluable experience.
But are they as equipped as other teams out West? The Clippers, Lakers, Nuggets, Warriors, and others (if they stay healthy) all have a case for being better.
Regardless of who you favor, it will not be easy at all for the Suns to make a return trip to the Finals this year.
The key, of course, will be Devin Booker. If he can step up as a true superstar in the West, and carry his squad to wins, it could be all they need to put them on par with the competition.
We'll just have to wait and see.