It's not really an NBA season until you struggle on the road. Or something like that.
The Phoenix Suns have hit their first real skid of the season and that's perfectly okay.
After racing out to a hot start of 6-1, the Suns have lost four of their last six, including three of their last four. Does this recent cool streak mean their hot start was just a fluke?
Not at all. It means the Suns have the muscle memory to be a really good team but not the depth to withstand multiple injuries.
When fully healthy, the Suns looked like the Suns. Their offense was a well oiled machine and their defense was good enough to get stops and frustrate opposing teams.
And then injuries hit. First it was Deandre Ayton for a few games with a sprained ankle. Then Cam Johnson tore his meniscus. Then Chris Paul injured his heel.
The Cam Johnson injury was particularly costly because it comes at a position the team is already thin at. Jae Crowder continues to take his ball and sit at home and with Johnson out for at least a few more weeks, the Suns are woefully thin at the wing position.
Here's where we get the real explanation for the Suns struggles. Teams can usually survive injuries in the immediate aftermath, its over the long term where the absence is felt the most. Torrey Craig is a long way from Cam Johnson or Jae Crowder.
Are the Suns struggles real? Yes. Are they understandable Yes. Are the Suns still really good when healthy? Also yes.
If you're looking for hope for the Suns chances of making another Finals run this year, just keep an eye on their injury report.