Suns Retorter: Suns of Anarchy Renewed for Season 2
Opinions are like Phoenix Suns point guards. There are plenty of them. The difference between the two is, not every opinion is a very good one. Enter preseason predictions from various outlets, aka “hot takes”, about the Valley’s professional basketball team.
Last August it was predictions of 16 wins, last place finishes and more use of the word “tank” than in the fish section of a pet store. We all know just how well that worked out for the national pundits.
Well, it’s that time of year again and, as the old saying goes, as much as things change, they seem to stay the same. It looks as if some people, or in this case a lot, didn’t learn last year’s lesson, don’t discount the team with nothing to lose and a whole lot of heart.
ESPN Forecast, a group of “210 members who contribute to ESPN's NBA coverage in a wide, diverse variety of roles” as they put it, were surveyed about the Western Conference. Their answers were then aggregated to guesstimate-- emphasis on ‘guess’-- what the Western Conference standings will look like in 2014-15.
Bet you can figure out where this is headed. The Suns were once again on the outside looking in when it came to their projected playoff field. Unlike last year’s prognostications, this time they have Jeff Hornacek’s squad projected to finish ninth as opposed to 15th but the common theme remains, they're a team being overlooked.
There is good news though. Being underappreciated and overachieving was to the Phoenix Suns last season what brilliant comedic timing, a kind heart and powerful acting were to Robin Williams, they’re calling card.
The team put together by Lon Babby and Ryan McDonough is one that thrives on having a chip on its collective shoulder. Last season proved that as they were the NBA’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy far out performing the expectations of even the most ardent fanboy (or girl, we’re equal opportunity around here with our super fans). The additions to this year’s squad just solidify that reputation in Phoenix.
One on One with Isaiah Thomas
Point guard Isaiah Thomas, who adds another dimension to one of the deepest backcourts in all of the league, is no stranger to being overlooked. At 5-9 it basically has been part of his bio since he stepped on a court for the first time. It hasn’t stopped him though. He, like his new teammates, has embraced the challenge and overcome it. Not only did he become the first player in league history his height or shorter to record a triple-double, but he also averaged 20 points, 6 assists and almost 3 rebounds a game last season.
The offseason acquisition, forward Anthony Tolliver, took the road less traveled, but the one that strengthens a player’s resolve, in his journey to the NBA. He went undrafted out of Creighton, played overseas in Turkey and Germany and in the D-League and fought to earn his spot in the league. The journey has led to a role in the NBA as a stretch-four that he’s thrived in the last few seasons. It also has given him an edge and appreciation for every NBA minute he logs.
Add in rookies, T.J. Warren and Tyler Ennis looking to earn their spot in the NBA, second-year players Alex Len and Archie Goodwin itching to show how much they’ve improved and you’ve got a team hungry to show what they’re made of again.
Thanks to the national opinion makers, the critically acclaimed Suns of Anarchy have been renewed for a second season. The returning cast members are ready and so are the newest members. All that is left is to once again prove everyone wrong and shock the league.
YOUR TURN: In the comments tell us where you think the Suns will finish in the West.