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The Suns were the surprise of the NBA this year. Phoenix won 48 games this past season in a year that close to everyone thought the Suns were destined for the lottery. Instead they made a push for the playoffs and came up just short. 17-year NBA Veteran and Suns color commentator Eddie Johnson joined Celtics Beat to discuss the Suns, and their surprise season and moves going into next season.
Johnson said “It wasn’t a fluke. No one expected them to do well, they got rid of some bodies, Marcin Gortat. And once they seen Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic could play together, the maturation of the Morris twins, they competed.”
The Suns by most were considered to be one of the worst teams in the NBA and the fact that they hired a rookie coach in Jeff Hornacek as well didn’t really raise expectations. Then once they got on the court the Suns were able to play well and played hard. Johnson said “a lot of things factored in and they played hard, and you see it culminate through the course of the year.”
Ryan McDonough is a former Celtic assistant GM and is now the GM of the Phoenix Suns. Johnson said “Again. He fits into the perfect storm. I don’t think he expected this team to win either. His job was to set this team up for the future and he did. But ultimately you want this team to make the playoffs and they didn’t get there his year. The challenge is going to be who you mix in with this group that played so well this year.”
The Suns are also in the mix for Kevin Love and they have three first round draft picks this year, along with talented young players they can offer in order to entice Minnesota to ship Love there. Johnson said “He’s a physical presence and is a player that fits in the type of offense that they run. Every team in the league would like to have Kevin Love. It’s just a matter of who can put together the best package to get Kevin Love.”
The Suns gave everyone an exciting season, Johnson said “You have to applaud everyone from the front office on down for giving the fans what they wanted, and the Suns quickly became on of the most watched teams in the NBA.”
To hear the entire interview with the Phoenix Suns color commentator Eddie Johnson tune in to the Celtics Beat podcast