Suns Set to Rise in the Western Conference Finals

Last Updated: May 11th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)

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It felt like every season, the Phoenix Suns were being stopped on their quest to reach the NBA Finals at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Many thought that this year would be no exception, as Phoenix ran into the #7 Spurs in the second round of the playoffs and was the subject of many upset selections.

Upset, shmupset. Bust out the brooms instead.

The Suns absolutely blasted San Antonio in all four games, winning each by at least six points and averaging winning by 9.3 points per game. They went 4-0 ATS and have now both won and covered every NBA playoff betting line that they have faced since G Brandon Roy limped back onto the court in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

The time is now for the loveable losers in the NBA. The Suns haven’t been to the NBA Finals since 1993 in the Charles Barkley days, and you have to go back to 1976 to find the only other time in franchise history that they pulled off the feat.

The city of Phoenix has yet to taste a championship in the NBA.

The time is absolutely now for Phoenix.

C Amare Stoudemire, by all accounts, will most likely be playing somewhere else next season unless he accepts his hefty player option for the 2010-11 season with the Suns. G Steve Nash isn’t getting any younger. Who knows if G Jason Richardson will ever catch this much fire again?

This team is significantly different than the ones that just flew up and down the court, played no defense, and ultimately were just muscled out of the playoffs.

Are Steve Nash and the Suns tough enough to beat the Los Angeles Lakers? You’d better believe it!

Stoudemire just did his job in the paint and 20.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game against arguably the best power forward of our generation in F Tim Duncan. Nash was bloody up in Game 4, but came back and ultimately scored 20 points to go with nine assists. Six different players recorded blocked shots in the final game of the series as well.

In fact, Phoenix held San Antonio to 46.7 percent shooting in Game 4, 45.0 percent in Game 3, 50.6 percent in Game 2, and 45.8 percent in Game 1. When you’re the Suns and you shoot nearly 50% from the field in every game and you have eight guys that can shoot three pointers, including several that are at least 6’10”, if you hold opposing teams to those types of percentages, you’re going to win a lot of games.

Enter the Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champs in the NBA. LA was pushed to the brink in what was a very hard fought series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Round 1, only to dismiss the Utah Jazz in four games in Round 2.

However, many accept the fact that this team isn’t as good as the one that won it all last year. G Kobe Bryant is still producing, but he is most certainly aging and most likely injured. Unlike in the last series when the Lakers absolutely dominated the glass, the Suns have enough big bodies to pound the likes of F Pau Gasol and C Andrew Bynum on the inside.

Depth won’t be an issue either, as HC Alvin Gentry isn’t afraid to call on any number or combination of ten guys to get the job done. Foul trouble won’t be an issue. Neither will fatigue… at least not for Phoenix.

The Lakers have been warned. The Suns are set to rise in the Western Conference Finals.

BetUS Sportsbook has opened up the Suns at +280 underdogs to win the Western Conference.

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Posted in NBA Basketball - Last Updated on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 @ 8:57 am (EST)
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