The Suns were a pretty good franchise overall…Never won anything, but made a few Finals….
(1) 1993 Phoenix Suns (62-20)
The famous Barkley led Finals team…Chuck had 26-12-5, as Dan Majerle had 17-5-4, KJ (only 49 games) had 16-2-8, Cedric Ceballos had 13-6, Tom Chambers (who was released after the year) had 12-5, and Danny Ainge had 12-3-3…Not much to say….
(2) 2005 Phoenix Suns (62-20) vs. (43) 1969 Phoenix Suns (16-66)
Steve Nash (16-3-12) joins a 29 win Suns team, and turns them around to 62 wins in his first MVP year. His team is pretty good, Amare Stoudemire had 26-9, Shawn Marion had 19-11, Joe Johnson had 17-5-4, and Quentin Richardson had 15-6…Of course, they make a bad offer to Johnson and are forced to trade him…Probably could have won a Finals otherwise…This is a really good team, it will be interesting to see whether they can beat 1993 or not…
Not a good first year…Gail Goodrich had 24-5-6, Dick Van Arsdale had 21-6-5, and Jim Fox (in 51 games) had 14-13. They lost out on the Kareem coin flip…They got Neal Walk instead….
(3) 2007 Phoenix Suns (61-21) vs. (42) 1988 Phoenix Suns (28-54)
Amare (20-10) is all back and healthy, after only 3 games last year, which means Boris Diaw is forced back to a more minor role (10-4-5). Nash had 19-4-12 this year, as Leandro Barbosa had 18-3-4, and Shawn Marion had 18-10.
Not a great year, although the 80s weren’t that bad, you never really think of them…Larry Nance (21-10) was traded to Cleveland for young guard Kevin Johnson (13-4-9). Eddie Johnson had 18-4-3, and one of the most underrated Suns, Walter Davis had 18-2-4 in his last Phoenix year.
(4) 1995 Phoenix Suns (59-23) vs. (41) 2004 Phoenix Suns (29-53)
OK year…Barkley had 23-11-4, as Dan Majerle had 16-5-4, and Danny Manning (18-6) and KJ (16-2-8) all played less than 50 games…Not really a great season in Phoenix…but not too bad, it is 59 wins.
See, I told you it was bad before Nash came…Stoudemire had 21-9 this year, Marion had 19-9, and Joe Johnson had 17-5-4. The incredible contracts of Stephon Marbury (21-3-8) and Penny Hardaway (9-3-3) all make their way up to New York, for nothing really…Except cap space.
(5) 1981 Phoenix Suns (57-25) vs. (40) 1974 Phoenix Suns (30-52)
Paul Westphal got shipped out for Dennis Johnson before the year. DJ had 19-5-4, reinventing himself as a scoring guard, and along with Walter Davis (18-3-4) formed the backcourt. Truck Robinson had 19-10, and Alvan Adams, a career long Sun, had 15-7-5.
This would have been Charlie Scott’s (25-4-5) team, if only he had been around for more than 52 games…Dick Van Arsdale had 18-3-4, Neal Walk had 17-10-4, as Connie Hawkins was traded to LA for Keith Erickson (15-6) after 8 games of Connie.
(6) 1994 Phoenix Suns (56-26) vs. (39) 1986 Phoenix Suns (32-50)
Pretty good year…Barkley had 22-11-5, KJ had 20-3-10, Majerle had 17-4-3, and AC Green had 15-9. Cedric Ceballos had 19-7….in only 53 games though.
Not too bad of a team, I guess…Walter Davis had 22-3-5, Larry Nance had 20-9-3, and Alvan Adams had 11-6-4. James Edwards (16-6), played only 52 games…
(7) 1998 Phoenix Suns (56-26) vs. (38) 1975 Phoenix Suns (32-50)
Not a very good year…Rex Chapman had 16-3-3, Antonio McDyess had 15-8, Cliff Robinson had 14-5, J-Kidd had 12-6-9, and Danny Manning had 14-6. KJ played 50 games of 10-3-5…
The year before the Finals appearance…Not as good as the next year, which was greatly helped by Paul Westphal joining in a trade from Boston for Charlie Scott (24-4-5). Dick Van Arsdale had 16-3-3, and Curtis Perry had 13-12…
(8) 1980 Phoenix Suns (55-27) vs. (37) 1977 Phoenix Suns (34-48)
Westphal (22-2-5) was in his last Phoenix year, he’d be in Seattle the next year. Walter Davis and his 22-4-5 averages where staying put though. Alvan Adams had 15-8, and Truck Robinson had 17-9…Not bad.
We’re dancing around the Finals year…The good news about this year is that Walter Davis came from this. Westphal had 21-2-6, Alvan Adams had 18-9, and Ricky Sobers had 14-3-3…
(9) 1989 Phoenix Suns (55-27) vs. (36) 2002 Phoenix Suns (36-46)
Three 20 point scorers congregate on this Suns team, led by the scoring escapades of Tom Chambers (26-8-3), the bench scoring of Eddie Johnson (22-4-2), and the production of Kevin Johnson (20-4-12). Armen Gilliam had 16-7, and Jeff Hornacek had 14-3-6…Pretty good team right here…
But not here….Stephon Marbury had 20-3-8, Shawn Marion had 19-10, and Joe Johnson was stupidly traded here by Boston. A washed up Penny Hardaway had 12 points a night.
(10) 1991 Phoenix Suns (55-27) vs. (35) 1987 Phoenix Suns (36-46)
Look, the Suns weren’t bad before Barkley! He lifted a top playoff team to championship contending status (they win 53 the year before Chuck joins…). They already have a good core! KJ had 22-4-10, Tom Chambers had 20-6-3, and Hornacek had 17-4-5 (though he was in Philly when Chuck came), and Xavier McDaniel had 16-7 (who was also gone…), and Dan Majerle had 14-5-4…pretty good team, but Chuck lifted them to memorable status (maybe iconic in Phoenix…I’ve never been there…).
Not great…Walter Davis had 24-3-5, Larry Nance had 23-9-3, Jay Humphries had 11-3-8, and Alvan Adams had 11-5-3.