PHOENIX SUNS

Suns, Monty Williams tuning out the noise prior to matchup with Lakers

May 21, 2021, 5:21 PM
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 09: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns passes the ball under pressure from A...
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 09: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns passes the ball under pressure from Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on May 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Heading into Game 1 of the playoffs, the odds are stacked against the Phoenix Suns as seemingly every media outlet and bookmaker has the Los Angeles Lakers as the favorite to win.

But to head coach Monty Williams and his squad, it’s just another game.

“Did anybody think we were going to win 51 games this year in a shortened season? I don’t think so,” Williams said Friday. “So why would we listen to those people now?”

It’s the first time in at least 30 years that a No. 2 seed has been billed as the underdog against a No. 7 seed, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

And while it is the franchise’s first playoff berth in 10 years and nerves are natural, that chip-on-the-shoulder mentality can definitely be motivating. However, Williams said it reaches a point where the outside noise doesn’t matter anymore.

“You hear it and you use it as motivation, but it’s limited in how much it can consistently motivate you. At this point in the season, you have to be self-motivated for sure,” the head coach said. “But we all hear it. I’d be lying if i said i’ve tuned it out.”

Devin Booker, preparing to make his first playoff appearance, said he doesn’t just tune out the noise around big games, but every day as all he wants to do is get on the court and win.

“Somebody that texted me yesterday was like, ‘They have you guys losing.’ I ask them ‘Who are they?’ That’s the approach every day,” he said. “We have a good group in this locker room from top to bottom that’s focused on winning basketball games and that’s it.”

Some discussion has gone as far as saying Phoenix is unlucky it has to face the defending NBA champions in the first round, especially after seeing the performance the Lakers pulled off against the Warriors in the Western Conference play-in game.

Williams disagrees.

“Everything you want is on the other side of hard. Right now, the Lakers are our hard. That’s how we look at it,” he said.

“It’s a privilege. … We look at the progress, we look at the journey, we look at all the hard work and it’s paying off. From that standpoint, we’re pretty excited.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Credit: @cedceballos / Twitter...
Nicholas Hodell

Former Suns F Cedric Ceballos says he is COVID-19 free, but still in ICU

Former NBA player Cedric Ceballos tweeted on Sunday that he is COVID-19 free, but also that he is still recovering in an intensive care unit.
4 days ago
Photo by luiscolato.com...
Associated Press

Tech data shows Arizona’s busy sports gambling activity

"Arizona ... had more wagered online than mature states like Michigan, Colorado and Tennessee at the FanDuel Sportsbook,” a spokesman said.
5 days ago
Images of the FanDuel sportsbook inside Footprint Center. (Photo by luiscolato.com)...
Associated Press

What to know as legal sports gambling begins in Arizona

Which in-person betting services are open Thursday? What other sportsbooks are still coming? And how did Arizona get here?
9 days ago
Photo by luiscolato.com...
Arizona Sports

Suns release images of FanDuel sportsbook at Footprint Center as betting opens in Arizona

See pictures inside the Phoenix Suns FanDuel Sportsbook at Footprint Center. Legalized betting opens in Arizona on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.
9 days ago
...
Arizona Sports

Suns G Devin Booker featured on Kicks Magazine cover

Devin Booker studies the details. And in reading the featured story for SLAM's latest edition of KICKS Magazine, fans can get a sense of that.
10 days ago
United States' Javale McGee takes a rest during a men's basketball practice at the Tokyo 2020 Olymp...
Kellan Olson

JaVale McGee visualized himself on Suns while watching NBA Finals

Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee was at a Finals game in Phoenix and was able to see where he could potentially play a role.
10 days ago
Suns, Monty Williams tuning out the noise prior to matchup with Lakers