NBA Western Power Rankings Week 8: Clippers hang onto 4th

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Dec 23, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (3) and Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek react against the Denver Nuggets during the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Nuggets won 104-96. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

9th: Phoenix Suns (19 points)

By Jeff Nisius

Record: 12-19

Last 10 games: 4-6

Suck in no-man’s land, the Suns have the talent to flirt with the playoffs, but not enough to win a series against the conference’s elite. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight form a dynamic backcourt, but it remains to be seen if management continues to build around the two guards. Outside of T.J. Warren, the roster seems to lack another piece that can develop and improve their long-term outlook. Alex Len has been solid, but Tyson Chandler has to be on the floor if the Suns are going to make a playoff push.

Furthermore, the Suns need to close out the year strong, as they are about to hit the road for seven out of nine games beginning December 30th. That trip could define their season, as the Suns need to come away near .500 to avoid becoming sellers at the trade deadline, which would be one month away after that stretch.

Next: Utah Jazz