No matter what way you look at it, the 2021-22 season will forever go down as a bitterly disappointing one for the Phoenix Suns. After making the NBA Finals last year, they followed that up with a 64-18 regular season, blowing teams away with a methodical brand of basketball that had everybody playing their role perfectly.
Devin Booker was a superstar. Chris Paul looked like he had defeated Father Time. Mikal Bridges finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting. Even guys like Bismack Biyombo, a stop away from being out of the league altogether, suddenly looked deadly when paired with Paul and put into a Suns system that looked like it would grind everybody else up.
Then Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks came along in the second round of the postseason, and the Suns found themselves at home sooner than planned.
Exit Survey: 3 offseason questions for the Phoenix Suns
The fact that the Suns were 2-0 up in the series makes the collapse even worse, although they apparently have a valid excuse. Doncic is an incredible player, a future MVP most likely, but his supporting cast wasn’t all that scary. Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie were probably their next two best players, and alongside the hot shooting of Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith, that was enough to defeat the menacing Suns.
So… what now? The Suns have been on vacation for nearly a month and have had plenty of time to digest what went wrong. Their attention has surely already turned to next season and another chance to win it all. One look at Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and how he has ascended should tell them it is possible if Booker leads them. Unfortunately for them, though, it won’t be that easy. Here are three areas to address this summer.