Arizona Sports Roundtable: What is your final record prediction for the Suns?
Oct 26, 2016, 7:00 AM | Updated: 11:45 am
(AP Photo/Matt York)
The anticipation is immense. The expectations aren’t as high. Together, it makes for a unique lead-in to a Phoenix Suns season. The Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Empire of the Suns blog is previewing the 2016-17 season by asking our on-air, online and Suns-centric personalities to speak their minds.
In today’s roundtable, we ask our panelists their official record prediction for the Suns’ 2016 season, and why.
— What’s the Suns’ best-case scenario for 2016-17?
— What’s the worst-case scenario for the Suns?
— Who will be the most impactful Suns rookie this season?
— Who will be the Suns’ most improved player?
— Who or what will be the biggest surprise for the Suns?
— Who or what will be the Suns’ biggest disappointment?
John Gambadoro: I think they will be much better than the Vegas predictions but still not a playoff team or even .500. But with the drama gone from last year’s team, they will compete, play hard and win some games they are not supposed to. So let’s go with 37-45.
Jon Bloom: As has become custom over the last decade, I went game by game and remarkably came up with a 41-41 mark for this team. That could in fact get them into the playoffs if things turn on a few of their fellow (older) Western Conference teams, but even if it doesn’t, they will have far surpassed expectations and continued to build a group the Valley is clamoring to rally around.
Bryan Gibberman: 35-47. The team is still too young to push for the playoffs but are good enough to show progress in a positive way that makes you not mad about them missing out on a top draft pick.
Kellan Olson: 35-47. I am near the front of the “Eric Bledsoe is really, really good” bandwagon, and his return along with a healthy Tyson Chandler and a freshly motivated team under Earl Watson should see the team improve greatly compared to last season. If everything clicks, they could even creep near the 40s and challenge for the No. 8 seed, but that rarely happens.
Adam Green: With a bit better luck on the injury front and an improved Devin Booker, the Suns will win 37 games this season.
Kevin Zimmerman: From last year’s 23-win team, give them seven more wins with a healthy roster and another five for improvements in teamwork, defense and the lack of off-the-court disturbances. That’s a 35-win club.
Doug Franz: No playoffs but a lot less anger. They’re a much better team than last year but 45 wins is too lofty of a goal and that’s what it takes to make the playoffs.
Craig Grialou: 40-42. That’s a 17-game improvement in the win column from a year ago and significantly better than what Las Vegas predicted. And it still may not be enough to make the playoffs, but it would be enough to keep moving the franchise in the right direction.
Vince Marotta: I think 35 is a fair number. There is a lot of talent on the roster, but even more youth, and youth doesn’t win consistently in the NBA. This would mark a 12-game improvement over last season and for being led by a first-year, full-time head coach, would be an acceptable result.
Paige Dimakos: I expect the Suns to win 40 games and be just about a .500 team. I’m hoping they surprise me but I just don’t think they are talented enough (yet) to compete in the Western Conference.