Phoenix Suns’ time in the NBA bubble comes to an end with Portland win

Aug 13, 2020, 8:41 PM | Updated: 9:43 pm

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns looks on in the second half against the Golden State Warriors a...

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns looks on in the second half against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on December 27, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Despite the Phoenix Suns’ 8-0 record in the NBA bubble, their improbable journey came to an end on Thursday.

After beating the Dallas Mavericks 128-102, the Suns needed the Brooklyn Nets to beat the Portland Trail Blazers.

Unfortunately for the Suns, Brooklyn couldn’t get the job done in a 134-133 loss, crushing the Suns’ hopes of a play-in for the playoffs against Memphis.

The Suns even having a chance for the playoffs on the last day of seeding games came as a shock to the NBA, being the last team in the Western Conference standings invited to the bubble with a 26-39 record.

Phoenix needed to leapfrog the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs to have a chance against No. 8 seed Memphis.

The chances of the Suns actually accomplishing this task was fairly slim, as ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the Suns a 0.4% chance using predictive real plus-minus (RPM) to make the play-in round while  The Ringer gave them a 1% shot of a play-in round berth.

It could certainly be said the Suns needed a miracle to reach the play-in game, and it nearly happened.

The Suns ended up passing New Orleans, Sacramento and San Antonio.

“Nobody believed we’d come here and go 8-0 and beat the teams we beat,” head coach Monty Williams said after the team’s win against Dallas.

No matter the result between Brooklyn and Portland, Williams told his players they need to build on the success.

“We gotta get to the point where we control it. You understand that? You guys understand that? You want to be the kind of team that controls your own destiny. That’s our next step.”

Phoenix Suns

Kyle Zunic #22 of the Perth Wildcats shoots a layup against Tyler Smith #11 of G League Ignite in t...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Do Suns go project route in 2024 NBA Draft with Tyler Smith?

G League Ignite forward Tyler Smith has a combination of size and shooting rarely seen on the first-round bubble of the NBA Draft.

20 hours ago

Tyler Kolek, Marquette point guard...

Ryan Pasiecznik

Point guard Tyler Kolek picked by Suns in For The Win’s NBA mock draft

The Phoenix Suns' point guard problem could be solved in the 2024 NBA Draft if Marquette guard Tyler Kolek is on the board at No. 22.

23 hours ago

Bobi Klintman  of the Taipans in action during the round 13 NBL match between Cairns Taipans and Me...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Bobi Klintman could be Suns’ big wing in 2024 NBA Draft

If the Phoenix Suns want a bigger wing in the 2024 NBA Draft, Bobi Klintman is a headliner in the back of the first round.

2 days ago

Charles Barkley looks on prior to game three of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Ce...

Kellan Olson

Charles Barkley says next season will be his last on television

Long-time NBA analyst for TNT Charles Barkley revealed on NBA TV Friday night that next season will be his last on television.

2 days ago

Jaime Jaquez Jr. #11 of the Miami Heat is guarded by Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warrior...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Can Suns find rare instant contributor in NBA Draft?

There is no doubting the value it would bring the Phoenix Suns to select a player in the NBA Draft who was a long-term part of what they do.

3 days ago

Cam Payne's mug shot after an arrest in Scottsdale...

Arizona Sports

Former Suns PG Cam Payne arrested in Scottsdale for refusing to give identity to police

Former Phoenix Suns point guard Cam Payne was arrested for failing to provide Scottsdale Police officers with his name.

3 days ago

Phoenix Suns’ time in the NBA bubble comes to an end with Portland win