PHOENIX SUNS

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 Grantland.com, 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.

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