The Phoenix Suns entered this season with expectations to be good.
For years, they have not been in playoff contention, but this season was going to be different.
Adding veteran All-Star Chris Paul would be a way to enter the playoffs.
Paul is a known winner that leads every franchise he joins to success.
That is exactly what happened with the Suns.
Also, Devin Booker took another leap and is building his case for All-NBA status.
Monty Williams is the one steering the ship and it is going in the right direction.
The Suns finished the season with the second-best record at 51-21, while being the second seed in the Western Conference.
As a second seed, you are usually the easy favorite in the first-round matchup.
However, the Suns’ first-round opponent is the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers have one of the greatest players to ever live in LeBron James, who has never lost a first-round series.
As of now, the series is tied up at two games apiece.
SUNS TIE IT UP 👀
Phoenix wins Game 4 in LA, 100-92! pic.twitter.com/GGnf6TOjCT
— ESPN (@espn) May 30, 2021
The Suns are still in danger of losing.
But would this season be a failure losing to the defending champs?
Yes, It Would Be A Collapse
Regardless of who is on the opposite side, the Suns have the better record.
All season, they have been consistent with their play.
Booker and Paul were both All-Stars this season and Paul was an MVP candidate.
Williams is most likely going to win Coach of the Year as well.
They have the firepower to win.
Granted, LeBron has never lost a first-round series, but he has rarely been the lesser seed in the matchup.
This is why if they were to lose, it would be a collapse.
For the entire season, the Suns have been looked at as real contenders.
To lose in the first round after improving so much to this point would be a failed season.
The goal was to win a championship.
The goal should not be changed due to their first-round opponent.
A loss would be a big downer to a great season.
No, It Is Still A Great Season
The Suns might be the better seed, but the Lakers should have been the number one or two seed this season.
However, injuries plagued their two best players.
The Lakers are probably the best seventh seed in NBA history.
They are the defending champions for a reason.
Also, they are still one of the top favorites to win it all, despite being the seventh seed.
The Suns are unlucky to have to play the toughest opponent possible in the very first round.
This team, outside of Jae Crowder and Paul, are new to the playoff atmosphere.
Being the second seed was a big step for them.
Now, they are in a tough predicament.
This season was a big accomplishment for a franchise that had not made the postseason in a decade.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 29, 2021
They will be back next year even if they lose in the first round.
The Suns’ young core grew up this season and will continue to get better.