This morning I was informed by the friendly neighborhood Circle K cashier, Cheryl, that a local radio sportscaster was urging that fans get behind the Suns now, “before it gets really exciting.”
Raja Bell, Amaré Stoudemire and the Suns have already helped make the 202007 NBA Playoffs exciting.
Before it gets really exciting? This postseason, only one game in, is already beyond “really exciting.” For me it is anyway.
This team, this season, these playoffs, have the feel of something spectacular already. I think a win tonight would do more than put the Suns in the driver’s seat of their opening round series with the Lakers.
With the Spurs and Mavs both losing their opening games, and the Suns’ penchant in recent years for letting Game 2s slip away after Game 1 victories, going up 2-0 will show that this team has the focus and determination to go all the way.
This is not a “must win” scenario, of course. The Suns will dispose of the Lakers regardless of tonight’s outcome. But it is a game that champions win.
I understand some fans’ reluctance to jump fully on board after coming close so many times, but not yet achieving the NBA pinnacle in hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy. I grew up a Chicago Cubs fan so I know about getting close and winding up devasted by another year without a title.
But I also grew up a Bulls fan. I watched, sometimes up close and personal as a sports TV producer, when the Jordan era began (“Jordan Scores 40, Bulls Lose”) and then when Chicago grew into a contender as Michael matured, honed his skills and bought into the team concept.
Those Bulls lost two straight Eastern Conference Finals to the Pistons before starting their first championship run. They learned how to win by losing.
This Suns team has also come close and seen what it takes to become a champion. They have learned those valuable lessons and have all the pieces in place to make it happen.
If you’re not already beyond excitement, like the crazed sellout crowd at US Airways Center became on Sunday, you need to hurry up and get there. You won’t be disappointed, no matter what happens.
But if all you’re after is a title, hang on tight. In my opinion, if the Suns prevail tonight, and I predict they will, they will go on to win their first-ever NBA Championship.