Suns Return to NBA's National Consciousness

Gerald Green's buzzer-beating game-winner -- like many other great Suns moments last season -- occurred on a national stage.
NBAE/Getty Images
by Matt Petersen

Someone noticed the Suns last year.

Before the 2013-14 season, you could have counted the number of Phoenix’s scheduled national television appearances on one hand – without needing all your fingers.

Forty-eight wins and several broken predictions later, The Suns are now in high broadcast demand.

Purple and orange will grace ESPN four times, TNT six times, and NBA TV seven teams in the 2014-15 campaign, a can’t-miss increase from a season ago.

That’s a good thing for the Suns, who seemed to perform their best when the bright lights were on last year. Several games were added to the broadcast slate late last season as TV schedulers realized – along with the rest of the league – that Phoenix’s hot start was no fluke.

Jeff Hornacek’s crew responded, beating the Pelicans by 12 (NBA TV), the Thunder by seven (NBA TV) and the Pacers by 24 (ESPN) and the Timberwolves by a Gerald Green buzzer-beater (ESPN).

Suns fans will need to wait until the calendar flips over to 2015 before its national presence begins. Among the repeat matchups on that stage: Portland (twice), Oklahoma City (twice), Chicago (twice). Phoenix will also get highly visible cracks at LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul/Blake Griffin.

This is a big deal, especially for a team that had nary an All-Star on its roster last season. The schedulers, however, appear to be on the same page as the Suns.

Exciting team basketball deserves some - and thrives in - premier air time.


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