What's next for the Phoenix Suns after Dallas Mavericks disappointment?
Phoenix Suns facing an off-season of soul-searching after failing in the playoffs.
After finishing with the best record in the league by a mile, the Phoenix Suns were blown right out of their building Sunday evening by the Dallas Mavericks in Game Seven of the second round of the playoffs.
Devin Booker put up one of the worst performances you'll ever see out of him, as he finished with 11 points on just 3-of-14 shooting from the field.
His backcourt mate, Chris Paul, was not any better, as he scored just 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
It's one thing if those two guys put up good performances, but the supporting cast couldn't give them that extra boost to will the team to victory. However, the two guys who need to put up good performances failed to do just that, which raises the question, is this team good enough to win a championship as currently constructed?
Yes, this team got all the way to the Finals just last season, but if the Los Angeles Clippers had Kawhi Leonard healthy last season, this team could have very well not gotten there.
Aside from that, CP3 just turned 37 years old. His longevity has been inspiring, but at some point, you have to be realistic and know there is going to be a dip off in his performance at some point.
Booker is a supremely talented scorer. He can create his own shot in the mid-range, get to the rim and shoot the lights out from three. However, if this past series was any indication, it's that he struggles to beat double teams.
The Suns, as currently constructed, rely on Booker to be the primary scorer, as they don't have a secondary scorer they can lean on if Booker is taken out of the equation.
Future In The Desert
A lingering question heading into the offseason is if the Suns should commit to giving Deandre Ayton a max contract.
The Suns played him just 17 minutes in an elimination game, and when head coach Monty Williams was asked why that was the case, he just said "that's internal" in the most serious tone you would ever hear out of him.
It doesn't seem promising that Ayton is going to stick around in the desert for the long haul, especially when they refused to offer him a max contract extension at the start of this season.
But if they don't re-sign Ayton, then this team can essentially kiss its title window goodbye. This team just doesn't have the means to replace Ayton, and CP3 is only going to be a full year older.
But if Ayton is re-signed, and Mikal Bridges evolves from being a great three-and-D wing to a great scorer and elite defender, then the Suns could find themselves back in contention next season.