Are Suns fun? ESPN’s Lowe releases 2018-19 League Pass Rankings
Oct 1, 2018, 10:26 AM
(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Devin Booker once scored 70 points in a game. With that, he can probably be objectively classified as fun.
Deandre Ayton is to No. 1 pick and, the Phoenix Suns hope, a unicorn with the physical traits of all the great centers who can play in a league going smaller by the year. He should be fun.
Just how fun are these Suns as a whole? ESPN’s Zach Lowe thinks they’ve got a lot of pop for a team that’s once again expected to win less than 30 games. In his annual NBA League Pass Rankings, Lowe ranked Phoenix 23rd thanks to the two faces of the franchise.
This feels low, but bad basketball grows tiresome. A late tankathon between last season’s Suns and Grizzlies — two of the league’s half-dozen fouliest teams — was the worst NBA game I’ve watched in at least five years.
But Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton running spread pick-and-roll in an Igor Kokoskov-designed system makes for at least 20 interesting possessions every night. Josh Jackson flings himself around with manic derring-do; he and Booker hit another gear when they see a chance to go one-on-three in transition.
Lowe graded each NBA squad by ranking five different categories from 1-10. Those include zeitgeist (Do casual basketball fans have interest?), highlight probability, style, League Pass minutia (do they have nice uniforms and a nice announcing team, for example) and unintentional comedy.
For the Suns, Ayton will bring in the casual fans with his play, not to mention his antics that have already included a light back-and-forth with Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid. The young core just might be able to put together some eye-popping plays here and there with more veterans on the roster helping with defense and floor spacing. Any steps toward competitiveness will also boost Phoenix’s draw.
Which teams are less fun than the Suns, according to Lowe’s scientific method?
In descending order: The Blake Griffin-era Pistons, post-Griffin Clippers, aging Grizzlies, wing-spanny Magic, blah Hawks, LeBron-lacking Cavs and sad Sacramento Kings round out the bottom of Lowe’s rankings.