It's been a wild ride for the Phoenix Suns, that's for sure. They went from having the worst record in the NBA a couple of years ago and missing the playoffs for a decade, to winning the second-most games this year and make it to the NBA Finals.
You have to give General Manager James Jones a lot of credit for putting together this team, even if he was heavily questioned when he took Cameron Johnson or Deandre Ayton in the NBA Draft or when he signed players like Cameron Payne.
Adding Chris Paul into the mix clearly did wonders for a team that was building an identity behind coach Monty Williams, and now, they're at basketball's ultimate stage for the first time since 1998.
The Road To The 2021 NBA Finals For The Phoenix Suns
It's been a long and winding road for the Phoenix Suns but they've made it. This year's success isn't a fluke, and even if some of their rivals struggled with injuries, you shouldn't put an asterisk next to their playoff run. Here, we're going to break down the hurdles they had to get past to make it to the NBA Finals.
2021 Regular Season: Phoenix Suns
The 2021 Phoenix Suns were one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. They finished the year with the second-best record in the NBA, winning 51 out of 72 possible games and ranking among the league's best in multiple categories.
The Suns had the 3rd-best net rating in the NBA (+5.9 points) even though they were only expected to win 38 games before the start of the season. Devin Booker led them in scoring with 25.6 points, while Chris Paul had the most win shares with 9.2.
2021 Playoffs: Phoenix Suns
The Suns entered the playoffs as the second seed in the Western Conference. There, they had to face the reigning champions Los Angeles Lakers, whom they beat in just 6 games after Anthony Davis struggled to stay healthy.
The Suns met the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs. But with a fully healthy Chris Paul, they were just too good to be stopped. They swept the Nuggets en route to the WCF.
Last, but not least, the Suns had to get past Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Finals, beating them in 6 games to make it to the NBA Finals for the third time in franchise history.