Prior to signing Kevin Durant, it seemed reasonable to conclude that the Phoenix Suns had little chance of making the playoffs. Their season got off to a strong enough start as they hung around the top six seeds in the Western Conference. However, there was still the issue that needed to be resolved. Were the Suns capable of making a championship run? Since the NBA Finals in 2021, they have come under fire for doing this.
Midway through the season, Devin Bookers had an injury that kept him out for over a month. While Durant was being acquired, the Suns traded Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges, two of their top defensive players, to the Brooklyn Nets. The Suns were unbeaten after Durant made his debut while he was on the court. For the Suns organization entering the postseason, this was a sign of optimism.
Phoenix’s playoff opener against the LA Clippers was unpleasant. However, their road was opened up after Kawhi Leonard had a torn meniscus and went down. They didn’t start losing until they played the Denver Nuggets, though. In six games, the Nuggets defeated the Suns. Fans criticized KD for failing to lead a different superteam to victory. Kevin Durant, according to a fan, failed the Super Team once more.Here are a few further responses.
Kevin Durant yet again failed super team pic.twitter.com/9Qhqa8kEAI
Mink Flow (@currypistonn) May 12, 2023
The three owners of Phoenix Suns pic.twitter.com/jpk5B6snjY
$ra (@Sra_world) May 12, 2023
Phoenix suns really added Kevin Durant to their roster just to lose the same way they did in game 7 last year pic.twitter.com/gDZvr4qDIH
Raps gen (@RaptorsGen) May 12, 2023
Nothing to see here
Just the co-owners of the Phoenix Suns franchise. pic.twitter.com/zxgEoq4GLV
NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) May 12, 2023
Should the Phoenix Suns regret trading Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and 4 first-round picks for Kevin Durant? pic.twitter.com/mXlV7wYx8U
Guru (@DrGuru_) May 12, 2023
Nearly averaging a triple-double, Nikola Jokic eliminated the Suns from the game. He contributed 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists to the Nuggets’ 125-100 victory in Game 6. Even on the Nuggets roster, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr., and Jamal Murray all had significant roles to play. Cameron Payne, who finished with 31 points, was the night’s top performer. Phoenix’s key players didn’t have a particularly strong game.
How will the Phoenix Suns respond to their abysmal playoff elimination?
It is difficult to predict how the Phoenix Suns will react. Since he took over, Monty Williams has been a fantastic coach, guiding the team to three straight playoff trips. Chris Paul contributes significantly to game control despite suffering a groin injury that forced him to leave the playoff series.
Deandre Ayton, who has been seldom putting up winning numbers, is the focus of attention at the moment. He supported the Suns during their two successful deep playoff campaigns, but it appears that the center position is their main area of concern.
Ayton was left to lead the defense after the Bridges trade. Ayton is actually more of a scorer than a defensive player. He might be traded because of the contract conflict he had and his underwhelming postseason performances.