The Phoenix Suns surprised the entire basketball world last season when they went all the way to the Finals to face off against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Suns ultimately failed in the final hurdle as they fell to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. This time around, however, they're making sure that this won't happen again.
Suns general manager James Jones recently opened up about his team's recipe for revenge this season. Phoenix is one of the best teams in the entire league right now and they're expected to be one of the high seeds in the West come the postseason. Be that as it may, it sounds like the Suns have taken on an all-or-nothing mentality this year with their sights set on winning an NBA championship. In this respect, Jones and his front office have taken the necessary measures to put his team in the best position to win:
“We have some closers, some clutch players, a plethora of shooters,” Jones told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo (h/t Jake Anderson of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM). “We’re stacked offensively, but where our team really comes together is on the defensive end.”
Jones then went on to talk specifically about Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee — two players he considers to be the Suns' defensive anchors. Forwards Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder also fall under the same category:
“Those guys, they live for defense. And when you have that, it’s a good recipe,” Jones said. “Because as you start to level up in this league, you start to play against the best teams in the playoffs and you get to the Finals like we did last year, you play against the league’s best offensive players. And the only way you win is getting stops.
“So we’re focused on that every night. We’re trying to develop the capacity to get stops every night, every possession because we know it will serve us well come playoff time.”
At 25-5, the Suns are currently in possession of the best record in the NBA. There's no denying that their elite defense has been key to their success this term.
Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and the rest of the Suns will put their NBA-best record to the test on Christmas Day when they face off against the team with the second-best record in the league — Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Expect fireworks.