Grantland writer: Phoenix Suns are ‘the best story in the league’

Dec 17, 2013, 10:35 PM | Updated: 10:36 pm

Perhaps you’ve heard: The Phoenix Suns are on a five-game winning streak and are currently tied for the sixth spot in the Western Conference playoff race with a 14-9 record.

The competitive Suns have surprised just about everyone at this point in the season, and local sports personalities can sing their praises until they’re blue in the face, but sometimes it’s better to hear what people outside the market are saying about the Valley’s longest-running professional team.

Enter Zach Lowe, an NBA writer from, who says watching the Suns is one of his favorite things about the 2013-14 season.

“Apologies to the (Portland Trail) Blazers, but this is the best story in the league — the team too good to tank,” Lowe writes about the Suns.

Portland is another surprising team this year. A team that some predicted wouldn’t even make the playoffs, the Blazers have raced out to the league’s best record at 21-4 and knocked off many of the league’s top squads. However, two of Portland’s losses have come to the Suns at US Airways Center.

Lowe explained why he thinks the Suns are the NBA’s best story, and not the Blazers.

No one in the organization dreamed these guys would be 14-9, with the no. 9 overall point differential (per 100 possessions) and a borderline top-five offense. Goran Dragic has never been better, and I’m not sure there are five craftier players in the league. He’s not fast enough to just blow by opposing point guards, but he makes up for it with guile — shoulder fakes, hesitation dribbles, crossovers, head fakes, behind-the-back step-backs, whirling finishes in the lane. Just a delight.

The Grantland writer also had praise for center Miles Plumlee’s shot-blocking skills, as well as the shooting prowess of forwards Channing Frye and Markieff and Marcus Morris. Lowe said guard Eric Bledsoe is still having some turnover and defensive issues, but that “the dude is a beast.”

The writer also poses some questions for the team and its fans to consider as the season progresses.

This also raises perhaps the most intriguing question in the league right now: Does Phoenix just ride this and go for a shocking playoff berth? Or will we see some questionable injuries, suddenly shaky coaching from the excellent Jeff Hornacek, and other chicanery? I hope not.

Phoenix Suns

Valley Suns G League team logo...

Bailey Leasure

G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim: Valley Suns completes our connection to the NBA

NBA G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim joins Burns & Gambo and talks about the new Phoenix Suns G-League team, the Valley Suns.

1 day ago

Duke's Kyle Filipowski drives in on Houston's J'Wan Roberts in the second half of the sweet 16 roun...

Ryan Pasiecznik

ESPN mock draft has Suns taking Duke’s Kyle Filipowski

Duke center Kyle Filipowski could entice the Suns as a center of the future. Phoenix owns the No. 22 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

2 days ago

LeBron and Bronny James chat...

Dan Bickley

Could Phoenix Suns fans truly embrace LeBron, Bronny James?

Do you want to win your first championship courtesy of LeBron James? It’s a relevant question with reports the Suns plan to work out Bronny.

2 days ago

Bronny James of the USC Trojans during a break in action on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, against the Ar...

Arizona Sports

Bronny James will work out for Suns ahead of 2024 NBA Draft, per report

The Phoenix Suns will hold a workout with USC prospect Bronny James before the 2024 NBA Draft, reports The Athletic's Shams Charania.

3 days ago

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker look on...

Tyler Drake

Suns’ Kevin Durant earns All-NBA 2nd Team honors, Devin Booker named to 3rd Team

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant and guard Devin Booker picked up All-NBA honors on Wednesday, the league announced.

4 days ago

Follow @KellanOlson...

Kellan Olson

Valley Suns reopen avenue for development through G League

The Suns have to maximize every possibility for improving their roster and they reopened one of those avenues with a G League franchise.

4 days ago

Grantland writer: Phoenix Suns are ‘the best story in the league’