This one can be summed up in three words. Come to think of, three letters and one explanation point will suffice: W-O-W!
The way the Suns have taken the NBA by storm (not to mention complete surprise), you’d think a home town pundit’s biggest concern would be the risk of getting carried away too soon. But the way the Suns are torching opponents, my biggest concern is the danger of running out of adjectives of the superlative persuasion before Christmas.
Yes I know it’s only November, but even some experts around the league have already moved the Suns from the bottom rung of the playoff ladder to a top four rung in their various power rankings!
And that was BEFORE Wednesday night’s awesome demolition of the Hornets!
The first period was a 12-minute highlight reel. With a minute to play in the period the Suns were hitting 83 percent from the field, and what was even more impressive than that other-worldly number was that it as much a reflection of their flawless execution as uncanny marksmanship!
You expect the Suns to score a lot, of course, but they also dominated the boards and unveiled a basketball version of desert swarm that had the Hornets struggling to reach the 40 percent mark in shooting from the field.
It was the 12th straight home victory dating back to the end of last season, and the Suns are now shooting better from behind the arc than two thirds of the teams in the NBA are shooting from in front of it! (I may run out of exclamation points before the end of this column.)
Nobody expected the Suns to be this good – although I suspect they themselves thought they just might have something special brewing – and Coach Alvin was sandbagging a tad with his humble assessment that while the team might start slowly there was hope for improvement.
Obviously, it’s far too early to say this team is actually 8-1 good, and one of the more poetic truisms in the league is that at the end of the day they’ll never remember how you played in November.
But one thing that can be said with certainty is the Suns have reclaimed their title as the NBA’s most entertaining team. And it’s hard to shake the feeling they just might be putting something special together. Maybe it will turn out to be a mirage, but for the once there is a kind of an aura that’s a potentially potent mix of attitude and ability.
It’s also worth noting that Mike D’Antoni’s best team generated a similar type of momentum in the early going, and it just grew and grew.
As usual, the catalyst is Steve Nash. It turns out it wasn’t age that slowed him down last year. It was weight! Now 345 pounds lighter he’s back at full speed. He’s already had two 20-assist games is orchestrating the offense with his old MVP verve.
But it isn’t just Nash. It isn’t just any ONE player. It’s more like nine or ten. One thing that tends to get lost in the NBA star shuffle that is the NBA is that it’s not so much how good your pieces are but how well they fit. And from what we’ve seen so far, the Suns have some good pieces and they fit perfectly!
The bottom line: What else? W-O-W!