The Phoenix Suns have lost three of their last four games after winning a season-high three in a row.
They still have the third-worst record in the NBA (22-45). They are 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Where is the team in writer’s latest NBA power rankings? What are those writers saying about the team?
NBA MOCK DRAFTS: Latest options for the Suns
The Heat Index takes a look:
AJ Neuharth-Keusch writes: “The Suns’ season is all but over, but that doesn’t mean they’re throwing in the towel just yet. Since March 1, Phoenix is 4-2, has the 12th-ranked offense in the NBA (107.8 points per 100 possessions) and has wins over the Hornets, Thunder, Celtics and most recently, the Mavericks, which came on a buzzer-beating game-winner from second-year guard Devin Booker.”
ESPN.com: Suns still No. 25
Marc Stein writes: “Make it two buzzer-beaters this season for Devin Booker and four for the Suns among their 22 wins. Booker is the only player in the league with multiple daggers at the horn this season; Phoenix has twice as many game-winners at the buzzer as its closest pursuer (Milwaukee has two). The obvious challenge for the Suns, in the midst of their latest youth movement, is getting into that position more often for Booker or Eric Bledsoe (or even Tyler Ulis) to deliver the dagger. Maybe we’re being overly demanding, but the Committee would like to see Booker hike his PER over the 15 mark by season’s end if possible, since he continues to sit slightly below the league average. The reality, though, is that Booker’s shooting percentages (43.1 percent from the field; 37.2 percent from 3-point range) are passable given the offensive load and degree of difficulty he’s been forced to shoulder at a mere 20 years old. (Suns-related aside: One of our favorite parts from this week’s soon-to-post TrueHoop Conversations podcast with tennis star Andy Murray is how he openly laments not hanging onto Alan Williams in his fantasy league. Williams has posted a points/rebounds double-double in seven of his last nine outings.)”
NBA.com: Suns up one to No. 24
John Schuhmann writes: “Just when you started to tune out the teams that have no shot at the playoffs, the Suns had a crazy week to keep you watching. Tuesday’s loss to Washington was one of the wildest, back-and-forth games of the season, with the Suns going from down 22 to up 11 to down again … before the Gorilla dove onto the floor. They followed up 53 fast break points (the most for any team in eight years) in that game with 37 more in another loss (to the Lakers) on Thursday. Devin Booker hit the game-winner in Dallas on Saturday and they erased an 18-point deficit only to lose to Portland on Sunday.”
SI.com: Suns up one to No. 25
Jeremy Woo writes: “Devin Booker doing more Devin Booker-y things.”
Grant Hughes writes: “We talked last week about the Tyler Ulis-Alan Williams combo being a fresh option for the lottery-bound Phoenix Suns, but Ulis gets the full shine this time around. That’s what happens when you author one of the season’s most exciting finishes. Ulis’ 20 points and game-winning triple produced the Suns’ first three-game winning streak since 2015, and his scrappy rise is a good metaphor for what Phoenix has done as a unit lately. Rather suddenly, the Suns are kind of a pain to play.”
Fox Sports: Suns up two to No. 26
Andrew Lynch writes: “The Suns got their biggest win of the season with a loss to the Lakers on Thursday night. Yes, we know what we said. All Phoenix should care about at this point in the season is draft lottery positioning, though, and the Suns are locked in a race with the Lakers for the second-worst record in the NBA.”
March 7 power rankings:
ESPN: Suns up four to No. 25
Marc Stein writes: “Good news: Phoenix found a way to beat the Thunder even after surrendering 48 points, 17 assists and 9 rebounds Friday night to Russell Westbrook. In the teams’ previous two meetings, both Suns losses, Westbrook rumbled for career highs in points (51 on Oct. 28) and assists (22 on Dec. 17). Even better news for the desert dwellers: The Suns have only one date left on the schedule with Westbrook, when they host OKC on April 7. The best news of all for Phoenix: Sunday’s dramatic triumph on Tyler Ulis’ buzzer-beating triple from the wing to stun Boston marked its league-leading third such win this season. Devin Booker (Feb. 3 against Sacramento) and Eric Bledsoe (Nov. 2 against Portland) also have been heroes at the horn for the Suns, who have somehow been involved in eight buzzer-beater finishes over the past three seasons.”
Jeremy Woo writes: “I’ve waited so long to say it. His buzzer-beater against the Celtics made it possible. Welcome to the NBA, Tyler Ulis!!!”
CBS Sports: Suns up four to No. 24
Matt Moore writes: “‘Nice core of young players the Suns have there. They might put together a run next year,’ I said for the fourth year in a row.”
NBA.com: Suns up three to No. 25
John Schuhmann writes: “The Suns have their first three-game winning streak of the season, thanks in large part to the guy who’s getting to play as Brandon Knight gets DNP’d. Tyler Ulis not only hit the game-winner (after a wild sequence) against Boston on Sunday. He has shot 17-for-28, has a 20/5 assist-turnover ratio, and is a team-high plus-43 over the streak. The Suns actually assisted on 64 percent of their buckets in the first two games and while their other first and second-year players were all taken in the Lottery, they’ve been at their best (plus-8.5 points per 100 possessions) since the break with Ulis (last year’s 34th pick) and Alan Williams (undrafted in 2015) on the floor.”
Jonas Nader writes: “The Suns had arguably their best week of the season with one loss to the Grizzlies and three wins over the Hornets, Thunder and Celtics. Tyler Ulis hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the win over Boston, capping off an impressive three-game run for the rookie — he averaged 14.0 points, 6.7 assists and 2.0 steals in that span.”
AJ Neuharth-Keusch writes: “The Suns won back-to-back games this week (120-103 over Charlotte on Thursday; 118-111 over Oklahoma City on Friday) for just the fourth time all season, but are still well out of the Western Conference playoff picture, eight games behind the eighth-place Nuggets.”
SUNS RING OF HONOR: Who could be next?
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