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Five things to be thankful for: Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe, front, celebrates a Suns score against the Los Angeles Lakers while on the team bench in front of P.J. Tucker, left, Jon Leuer, back, and Devin Booker, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Lakers 120-101. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It’s Thanksgiving, which means people all over the country will be gathering around a table in order to give thanks for what they have.

Here’s what you can be thankful for if you’re a Phoenix Suns fan.

5. A slow start for the West – Suns ap_bbdf2bad03584442a6004bb8585c3e08-1024x809fans know how brutal the Western Conference can be, but that has not been the case for the start of the 2015-16 season. Prior to Thursday’s slate of games, there are nine teams over .500 in the East while there are only five in the West. The Houston Rockets already fired their coach, the New Orleans Pelicans have major injury problems and the Los Angeles Clippers are giving up almost 104 points per game. The Suns are only 7-8, but they have the fourth-best point differential at +2.1. Maybe this year it’s good to be in the West?

4. Being a map_a406c62f8b2a484b87d182366818cba4-832x1024ajor free agent player – LaMarcus Aldridge may have signed with the San Antonio Spurs, but the Suns made their mark in free agency by nearly signing the four-time All-Star. Entering their Aldridge meeting with newly signed Tyson Chandler in tow shocked everyone in the NBA and most importantly, blew away Aldridge. He was quoted by saying the Suns were “at the top of my list.” That sets a precedent around the NBA that the Suns are a serious free agent player, something that will aid the team in the future.

 

ap_821ae0ccd1ad4bd087fdc3f6745e0c50-717x10243. Ryan McDonough – Another season goes by and it’s another season of McDonough making the right moves. Brandon Knight has flourished early in the season and looks to be well worth the price the Suns paid in February. Jon Leuer was acquired for a measly second-round pick in June and has turned into a legitimate rotation player that the Suns rely on. Tyson Chandler and Ronnie Price’s veteran leadership has had a clear effect on the team and both have had their success on the court as well. All of this is due to an aggressive general manager who is willing to shake things up, something Suns fans should be thankful for.

 

ap_d3aa0c7543434b54b24bb7e1449adf1a-777x10242. Youth movement – Suns fans should want this team to make the playoffs, but that shouldn’t deter them from the bright future of this team. The team’s two best players — Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight — are 25 years old and 23 years old. There are also major building blocks in each part of the floor, with 19-year-old Devin Booker, 22-year-old T.J. Warren, 22-year-old Alex Len, and 21-year-old Archie Goodwin. All four have shown that they can play at this level and the first three players mentioned appear to be serious core pieces for the franchise moving forward. That’s also without mentioning 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is currently playing overseas. The future is bright in Phoenix.

ap_80afeebaa0140c0a700f6a706700068f-e1443031587428-1024x5461. Point guards – It’s year three of having two point guards in the starting lineup and the Suns have finally found the right mix. Bledsoe and Knight’s skill sets compliment each other very well and have been torching the NBA so far this season. The duo is averaging 44.8 PPG and has a permanent spot as a top-five backcourt in the league. More importantly, they are extremely fun to watch and give Suns a chance to win any game. That’s something Suns fan can look forward to for at least the next couple of years.

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