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"The Hottest Team in the League": Phoenix Continues to Shatter All Predictions - Walla! sport

2021-03-03T12:01:27.740Z

The Suns overcame the Lakers even without Devin Booker, rising to second in the West and with 13 wins in their last 15 games and Chris Paul's record ability, look like the real thing: "They are without a doubt true contenders to win the championship." Participants in the All-Star Threes and Rings competitions have been determined



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"The Hottest Team in the League": Phoenix continues to shatter all predictions

The Suns overcame the Lakers even without Devin Booker, rising to second in the West and with 13 wins in their last 15 games and Chris Paul's record ability, look like the real thing: "They are without a doubt true contenders to win the championship."

Participants in the All-Star Threes and Rings competitions have been determined

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  • Phoenix Suns

  • Nikola Jukic

  • NBA

  • Chris Paul

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Wednesday, 03 March 2021, 14:17

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She also overcame the champion.

Phoenix Celebrates (Photo: GettyImages, Harry How)

Before the start of the season, quite a few commentators in the United States marked Phoenix as a potential surprise.

It is doubtful if they themselves believed that after nearly half the season, the young Suns would find themselves in second place in the West, just 3.5 games from the Utah leader.

Tonight (Tuesday through Wednesday) Phoenix marked its 23rd win of the season (compared to 11 losses), and it was without a doubt one of the most impressive of them - 104: 114 over the Los Angeles Lakers.

"This is the hottest team in the league right now," Frank Vogel said even before the game, "we will have to be at our peak to win."



More than the end result, the road is impressive: in the middle of the third quarter Devin Booker was sent off, after two very dubious technical fouls.

Without its prominent scorer, with a 66:70 advantage, one might have expected Phoenix to raise its hands.

For LeBron James (38 points) she did not find an answer, Chris Paul did not really get into things, threw only four times from the field and reached eight points, and yet - the power of the Suns is not in one player this season.



In the absence of Boker, Command took another rising force from the West's runner-up - Miles Bridges, who continued his great season with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Dario Sharich who continues to recover from the injury that caused him to miss the season opener led with 21 points and both Diandra Eyton (17 points) and Jay Crowder (15) gave theirs and halted the champion’s comeback attempt.

Phoenix is ​​currently counting six wins in its last seven games and 13 wins in its last 15 games.



Further evidence of the Suns' strength comes from its points difference this season - +6 (113.4 points per game vs. 107.4 required points).

Only Milwaukee (6.4) and Utah (9.3) are ahead of her in that sense, with the Clippers (5.6), Lakers (5.2), Denver (5.1) and Brooklyn (4.6) behind.

More on Walla!

Jukic celebrated on Yannis, the fiery Phoenix also defeated the Lakers

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So what has changed since last season, which the Suns finished in tenth place in the West with a 39:34 balance?

The buds of potential could be seen in the bubble in Orlando, with the resumption of the 2019/20 season, when the youngsters of Phoenix finished with a perfect balance.

It may not have been enough to make it to the playoffs, but it did make club leaders realize that the future is closer than ever.



Last November, the Suns sent Ricky Rubio, Kelly Ubera and a first-round pick to Oklahoma City in exchange for Chris Paul - proof that they intend to fight with all their might for the playoffs this season.

It was, of course, a perfect gamble: the veteran quarterback tends to significantly improve every team he joins, at least in his first season.

Notice the numbers:



Phoenix's success rate in the season before he arrived: 46


percent Phoenix's success rate this season: 67



percent of New Orleans 'success in the season before he arrived: 22


percent of New Orleans' success with him: 46



percent success of the Clippers before he arrived: 39


percent success of the Clippers With him: 69



percent of Houston's success in the season before he arrived: 67


percent of Houston's success with him: 79



percent of Oklahoma City's success in the season before he arrived: 39


percent of Oklahoma City's success with him: 61

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Paul will celebrate his 36th birthday this summer, but he refuses to fade.

The veteran quarterback is ranked fourth in the league in assists with 9 per game - his best figure since the 2016/17 season, which was his last in the Clippers.

And while Paul scores slightly less than his career average (16.2 vs. 18.4), he does so at higher percentages (48.6 vs. 47.1 from the field, 38.5 vs. 37 off the arc, 95.3 from the line vs. 87.2), with more rebounds per game (4.7 vs. 4.5) and fewer turnovers (2.3 vs. 2.4).



"This team is so good," cheered ESPN commentator Tim Bontemps tonight.

"Chris' influence on them is just amazing. Phoenix is ​​a real threat in the West."

Former player Kendrick Perkins obeyed: "Is it fair to say that the Suns should be treated as candidates for the championship? I certainly think they are."



Tonight they definitely looked like that, with no Morning selected by the league as the Outstanding Player of the Month for February.

"We improved tonight," Monty Williams said after the win over the Lakers.

"You gain confidence when someone like Boker doesn't play and yet you scratch a victory, in the end an away game trip. This bunch shows a lot of maturity, it's a character victory. We gained a lot of confidence that we can win like without Devin, or without Chris saving us. ".



Phoenix will have two representatives in the All-Star Game for the first time since the days of Steve Nash and Amara Studmeier, but there is a whole team around Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

No less than seven players are scoring this season in double digits - in addition to the star duo (25.2 and 16.2 respectively) there are also Diandra Eyton (14.6), Michael Bridges (13.9), Dario Sharich (11.4), Cameron Johnson (10.4) and J. Crowder (10).



In ESPN's latest power rating, the Suns came in sixth, Sports Illustrated ranked fifth, and the league's official website ranked them fourth, with only the Lakers, Brooklyn and Utah ahead.

The betting agencies have also started to straighten out, with Phoenix ranked ninth on the list of favorites to go all the way.

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* Nikola Jukic continued his heyday with the 50th triple-double of his career - this time 37 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in Denver's big 97: 128 over Milwaukee. Aside from the Serbian superstar, the only chin to reach 50 triple doubles is one, Wilt Chamberlain. "It just shows how big he is, he's only 25 and that's amazing," Michael Malone rejoiced. "It's nice, obviously," Jukic said. "It's something to my legacy, to be on par with one of the greatest chins in history."



* Boston continues its recovery with a third straight win - this time 112: 117 over the Los Angeles Clippers. This happened mainly thanks to Kamba Walker who mentioned forgetfulness with 25 points. "I play the right way and take what they give me," he said at the end. "My shots come in. We've been playing well lately, playing strong and not letting things affect us during games - that's the difference."



* The NBA has announced participants in All-Star Night competitions. The threesome will feature Stephen Kerry, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, Jason Taitum, Jaylen Brown and Zack Lavine; The ringing competition will feature youngsters Anfrani Simmons, Cashius Stanley and Obi Topin; And in the skill competition Julius Randall, Luca Doncic, Nikola Woczewicz, Domantas Savonis, Robert Covington and Chris Paul.

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Source: walla

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