Suns deemed Dwyane Wade’s ‘dark horse’ following Booker’s game winner
Entering play in the NBA bubble, the Phoenix Suns were an afterthought as the lowest-seeded team in the Western Conference.
Now, following a third-straight win on a last second jumper by Devin Booker to take down the Los Angeles Clippers, the Suns have started to get some people talking.
Notably, Dwyane Wade called the Suns his “dark horse” team during the NBA on TNT.
There is no doubt the Suns still have their work cut out for them, but being undefeated in the bubble, things have shaken out about as well as Phoenix could have hoped for.
They are no longer in last place in the West.
They are tied in wins with the Spurs and Pelicans.
The Clippers were the highest-seeded team on the Suns’ schedule coming into the bubble.
And finally, they are just 1.5 games behind the nine seed, which they need to be to earn a berth in a play-in game against whoever finishes in the eight spot.
All in all, the Suns have increased their likelihood of making the playoffs from 1% to 2%, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.
All jokes aside, the Suns are in a position few expected them to be in at the start of the year. They are firmly in playoff contention with five games remaining on the schedule.
Next up for the Suns are the Indiana Pacers, ranked No. 5 in the East. They follow with the No. 4 seed Miami Heat, No. 6 seed Oklahoma City Thunder, No. 6 seed Philadelphia 76ers and No. 7 seed Dallas Mavericks who the Suns already beat in the second game of the NBA restart on Sunday.
The Suns have an opportunity to build on the success they have experienced while avoiding the top six teams in terms of winning percentage in the NBA.
The Suns will be facing teams primarily focused on jockeying for seed positions as apposed to their playoff lives in the final five games of the season.
With the signature moment of the NBA restart from Booker’s game-winner on Tuesday, the league will be watching to see if the Suns can build off that success.