NBA: Ranking the Pacific Division teams

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Apr 8, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center

Tyson Chandler

(6) is called for a foul on Phoenix Suns guard

Eric Bledsoe

(2) during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

3 – Phoenix Suns

2014-15 record: 39-43
Key Additions: Tyson Chandler (FA), Devin Booker (draft), Mirza Teletovic (FA)
Key LossesGerald Green (FA), Marcus Morris (trade), Brandan Wright (FA)

Last year felt like it was supposed to be ‘the year’ for the Suns, even if that means eventually getting swept by the Golden State Warriors as the no.8 seed in the playoffs. The Oklahoma City Thunder were dealing with a gang of injuries meaning the 2013-14 no.9 seed would be in position to slide into the final playoff slot.

Instead Phoenix regressed, no thanks to the many teams who drowned them at the buzzer, shuffled its core, which included trading Goran Dragic (Miami) and Isaiah Thomas (Boston) and adding Brandon Knight into the equation, and allowed New Orleans and Utah to jump them in the Western Conference standings (at least by my evaluations), and failed to land superstar forward LaMarcus Aldridge, instead landing on Tyson Chandler, a vast improvement at the center position with all respect to Alex Len, and a disgruntled Markieff Morris, whose brother was traded to the Detroit Pistons to clear space in their attempt to land Aldridge.

Nows the time to bounce back. I don’t know if Phoenix has it in them to compete in the West, even with the Trail Blazers falling out of the race. In theory, the Suns are where they are a year ago, hoping to take the expected leap and make a push for another playoff spot. If Bledsoe-Knight work out in the backcourt and Chandler mends the defense for 25 to 35 minutes a game, you’ve an interesting cast, especially when you factor in coaching. It’s gonna take some luck to squeeze into the Western Conference playoffs, but we’ve seen crazier things happen in the NBA so there’s that.