I’m not going to fall into the same trap that many in the Suns media world has by telling you what you want to hear. I’m going to do what I always do: tell you what you need to hear.
The Phoenix Suns are not winning the NBA championship this year.
They don’t have the depth or the leadership, despite having the star power at the top.
This isn’t a Game 1 over reaction, I’ve been saying this for weeks on The Drive, it's just reality.
As we are learning with the Arizona Cardinals, you can’t expect to get better without confronting reality.
And the reality is the Suns are going to need a roster overhaul this summer and a lot more time together before they can expect to survive the gauntlet of the NBA postseason.
Now, the good news: they should still beat the Los Angeles Clippers and advance to the second round.
Its not a lock but it’s still the most likely outcome.
All of the issues that plagued the Suns in Game 1 have pretty simple solutions.
It was a problem that Monty Williams had no idea what his playoff rotation was. The solution is Cam Payne returns, Terrance Ross gets more than 4 minutes and the Suns add two guys who can at least get buckets.
It was a problem that Monty Williams called the worst play possible down 3 with 17 seconds left. Half court, iso Devin Booker at the end of a game is not the best version of Devin Booker. Jrue Holiday, anyone?
The solution is simple: Use both Devin Booker and Kevin Durant in any moment where the game is on the line. I repeat BOTH BOOKER AND DURANT SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN EVERY POTENTIAL GAME WINNING PLAY.
It was a problem that Russell Westbrook morphed into 1996 Dennis Rodman in the final two minutes of the game.
The solution is to allow the Clippers to think more Russ is good for them.
It was a problem that neither Kevin Durant or Devin Booker was the best player on the floor on Sunday night; that honor belonged to Kawhi Leonard.
The solution is a fully motivated, pissed off duo of KD and DBook drop 60+ on the Clippers simply can't match the firepower, even with another repeat performance from Kawhi..
The Suns should avoid the embarrassment of a first round exit but the goal of a championship is going to have to wait at least another year.
The good news is if you don’t like hearing that, there are plenty of places who will happily tell you otherwise despite knowing the truth.