The Phoenix Suns’ first season as an NBA team was all the way back in 1968. The Suns are one of the few organizations in the NBA that doesn’t have any championships in franchise history, but they have a chance to remedy that in the 2021 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks in their third Finals appearance.
For this piece, we take a look at the five best Phoenix teams in franchise history. The 2020-21 Suns will be on this list at some point, but we’ll wait to see how they do in the NBA Finals before finally placing them among the greatest teams in franchise history.
5. 1975-76 Suns
Phoenix won 42 games in the regular season under head coach John MacLeod. The Suns also had a top-10 offense and defense that campaign
In the 1976 playoffs, Phoenix defeated the Seattle SuperSonics and Golden State Warriors to reach the NBA Finals, where they matched up against the mighty Boston Celtics.
Despite giving it their best efforts, Phoenix came up short versus Boston, losing in six games.
4. 2005-06 Suns
Phoenix cruised through the regular season by winning 54 games. Steve Nash won the 2006 MVP Award after finishing the season with averages of 18.8 points and 10.5 assists.
Phoenix also put up 108.4 points per game, which was first in the NBA. However, as most Mike D’Antoni-coached teams are, the Suns were awful on defense. They gave up 102.8 points a night, which was 28th out of 30 in the NBA.
Phoenix began the 2006 playoffs by taking out the Los Angeles Lakers in seven epic games. Nash and Shawn Marion then beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Unfortunately, the Dallas Mavericks eliminated the Suns in six games in the 2006 WCF.
3. 2009-10 Suns
This is the last Phoenix team that made the playoffs. The Suns won 54 games under Alvin Gentry and got to the Western Conference Finals.
Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire were unstoppable in the pick-and-roll. The Hall of Fame point guard averaged 16.5 points and 11.0 assists that season, while Stoudemire put up 23.1 points and 8.9 boards. Phoenix led the entire NBA in scoring as well after averaging 110.2 points a game.
The Suns matched up against the Lakers in the 2010 conference finals. Kobe Bryant was too much for Nash and Co. to handle and Phoenix lost in six games.
2. 2004-05 Suns
Phoenix won a staggering 62 games in the regular season behind Nash, who went home with MVP honors after averaging 15.5 points and 11.5 dimes. Stoudemire was a monster as well, with the former Rookie of the Year and All-Star putting up 26.0 points and 8.9 rebounds.
The Suns got to the 2005 Western Conference Finals. This time, they were taken out by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in five games.
1. 1992-93 Suns
Charles Barkley won the MVP award in his first season with the team. Phoenix went on to win 62 games in the regular season, with Barkley averaging 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
Phoenix bounced the Lakers, Spurs and SuperSonics to reach the 1993 NBA Finals, where Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were waiting for them.
Jordan averaged 41.0 points per game in the series and the Bulls defeated Barkley and the Suns in six games. Barkley put up 27.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the six-game battle. Chuck said in “The Last Dance” that losing to Jordan was the first time he felt like he wasn’t the best basketball player in the world.