Phoenix Suns seek playoff spot, end to 5-year drought

Kara Brown, Reporter

Coached under former Suns player Jeff Hornacek, the Phoenix Suns have found themselves back on track to victory. With a 28-21 record, the Phoenix Suns are currently ranked eighth in the Western Conference, with desires to clench a spot in the playoffs.

The last time the Suns made a playoff appearance was 2010, making this the longest drought for the franchise. Last season’s midpoint record ended with 24 wins and 17 losses, where they finished their season with a record of 48 -34.

The end of the season record was marked, “the most wins in league history that failed to qualify for the playoffs,” said editor of Bright Side of the Sun, Dave King.  All qualifying teams from the Western Conference had 49 or more wins.

There’s no doubt that the 2014-15 players are not as popular as past Suns players Charles Barkley, Amar’e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Steve Nash were, but that does not mean they should be overlooked. Point guards Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas, and Goran Dragic are this season’s best players. Although young and new, the players are making a breakthrough. Eric Bledsoe has proven his value to the team.

“Bledsoe is one of only five players in the entire league averaging as many points, rebounds, assists and steals as he is,” said King.

Since last season, the Morris twins, Eric Bledsoe, P.J. Tucker, and Isaiah Thomas have all received big raises. With younger players come higher egos, which caused minor setbacks for the team. After some readjustments by the coach and bonding between the players, the Suns have been able to overcome their struggles and have paved their course back into playoff position.

“There have been some troubles, mostly around a few of the team’s young players getting large new contracts in the off season and coming into this season with heightened expectations and a sense of entitlement,” said King.

The team has managed to stay within the top eight, but it has not been an easy ride.

“Oklahoma City’s injuries have helped put them in playoff position with about two months to go but there are still lots of regrets for how tenuous it is,” explains Suns reporter, Paul Coro.

Having Jeff Hornacek as a coach has a great impact on the team. The Suns play at a fast pace, run, and gun style, allowing the team’s point guards to fully control the ball while on the court.

“He is familiar with the team and the organization, plus the style of play the Suns are known for,” says long-time fan and current SCC student, Andrew Geringer. “The coach instructs the team to play at an increased level of speed by pushing the ball every possession.”

For the second half of the season, the Phoenix Suns are once again on the brink of making it to the playoffs. Their winning percentage is almost identical to last year’s, which means that they have a tough schedule for the remainder of the season and they will have to come out on top in order to stay within the top 8 in the Western Conference to qualify for the playoffs. They need to improve last season’s record by a few more wins in order to clinch a spot in the 2015 playoffs