Led by MVP candidate Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns have had a tremendous turnaround and season, finishing with a 51-21 record which was the second best in the league. Unfortunately for the Suns, they will have to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round which is the worst possible matchup for them. They won the season series 2-1 against the Lakers but, we understand that playing Lebron in the playoffs is entirely different.
The Suns two other stars in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton will be getting their first playoff experience this season. Playoffs are different and although many believe Booker will be ready for that type of pressure, we have no clear cut evidence. Another concern I have for the Suns is the inconsistency of Ayton. He is an extremely talented player but there are times when he just does not show up and looks disengaged from the game. Often times, it is due to him quickly getting in foul trouble which disrupts his flow for the game.
Having said that, if there is a chance of the Suns beating the Lakers it would be the first round because Lebron James and Anthony Davis are still not 100% coming off of their injuries. If they show that rust against the Suns, they can capitalize on that and make the series much more interesting than it would normally be. If they really want to give the Lakers a scare then players like Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson etc. need to step up and hit their shots. They cannot solely rely on Booker and CP3 to bring them over the hump because if they do, they will get blown out.
However, I still believe that the Lakers are still far too stacked and have too much size for the Suns to be able to contain them. They have no answers for Anthony Davis or Andre Drummond and Ayton is not consistent enough to keep up with them. I think that the Lakers will win the series in 6 games.