How much trouble are the Suns in?
After a blowout loss in Game 3, we are once again experiencing narrative whiplash in the NBA playoffs.
Last week, the biggest debate in the NBA Finals was should the Suns even get credit for winning the championship the path was so easy.
This week, the biggest debate is now “Is Giannis the most unstoppable force in NBA history?” or something like that.
So where is the truth for the Suns? How much trouble are they really in with a 2-1 series lead?
Well, lets start off by stating: the sky is not falling. This isn’t the Bucks finding the vulnerability in the Death Star and blowing it up. But it’s also not time to smugly sit back and declare that the Suns still have the Bucks right where they want them.
The Suns are facing the most serious adversity of their season.
The Bucks have a healthy, superstar who is drawing physical comparisons to Shaq and the Suns have exactly one capable defender to try and slow Giannis down.
That’s a problem.
The whole world now knows that the only thing standing in front of the Bucks and a Giannis leveling the Phoenix series lead like some Greek Godzilla is Deandre Ayton.
But the Bucks have problems too. They NEED Giannis to drop 40. And then they need their supporting cast to have good games, as evidenced by Giannis dropping 42 in game two but the Suns still winning by double digits.
So here’s what the rest of the series really boils down to, in my opinion:
Which supporting cast do you trust more?
That answer hits a bit differently than “Can anyone stop Giannis?” because no, Frank Kaminsky cannot stop Giannis. Ever. Only Ayton can slow him down and Ayton is about to be targeted in a way defensively he’s likely never faced before.
But the supporting cast still favors the Suns.
Even with their struggles and Dario Saric’s injury throwing the balance of the Suns rotation eco system off, I’d rather bet on Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Cam Payne than Bobby Portis, PJ Tucker, Brook Lopez and Pat Connaughton.
So if you frame the rest of this series as stopping Giannis, the Suns are in real trouble.
If you frame the rest of the series as a battle of depth and overall scoring talent, the Suns are still in very good shape.
Assuming of course, Devin Booker decides he wants to fight. More on that later.