2012-13 PHOENIX SUNS SEASON PREVIEW:
Up until the last week of the season, the Phoenix Suns were in a fight for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, but after a loss to the Utah Jazz in their second-to-last-game, the Suns were mathematically eliminated and finished the year 33-33. For the first time in years, the Suns will begin a season without their superstar Steve Nash at point guard, who is arguably one of the best players in the team's history. Luckily for Suns' fans, the team made a flurry of moves in the offseason to replace some of the lost pieces and begin creating a younger, leaner and tougher team that can compete with the superstar-packed rosters of their foes in the Western Conference.
To replace the major void left behind by Nash's departure, the Suns moved quickly in free agency to pick up point guard Goran Dragic, whom the team traded away only two years ago. The Suns found a way to land power forward Luis Scola, who should help the team's scoring attack tremendously. New addition Michael Beasley provides great size at the small forward position, as well as Wesley Johnson who also came over from Minnesota. Last but not least, the team signed veteran big man Jermaine O'Neal to provide a much-needed boost off the bench. In the draft, the Suns only had one pick but made it count with the selection of point guard Kendall Marshall from North Carolina, who should provide immediate depth behind Dragic.
Along with their completely redesigned point guard lineup, the Suns will bring back Sebastian Telfair to provide additional depth. At shooting guard, Jared Dudley has been a reliable performer for the team for several years, and he is spelled frequently by Shannon Brown and P.J. Tucker. The forward position has been completely revamped with the additions of Scola and Beasley, but it will be up to players like Wesley Johnson and Markieff Morris to provide a boost in big spots. At center, Marcin Gortat looked like an All-Star through the early portion of the 2011-12 season, but he will have to adjust to new point guards to maximize his effectiveness.
Although there are plenty of new faces, the Suns are still more than capable to play with anyone in the Western Conference with their starting five, but might not have the depth to hang in with teams in close games. However, if the team can gel early on and adjust to their new offense, the Suns could be a surprise postseason contender late in the season.
PHOENIX SUNS FRANCHISE FACTS:
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Stadium: US Airways Center
Conference: Western Conference
Division: Pacific Division
Rivals: Los Angeles Lakers
Dancers: Suns Dancers
Notable Players: Charles Barkley, Connie Hawkins
Phoenix Suns Championship Titles: 0
Phoenix Suns Conference Titles: 2
Phoenix Suns Playoff tickets
Phoenix Suns Season Preview History
PHOENIX SUNS EXPERIENCE:
Arizona may be known primarily for its college and professional football teams, but the Phoenix Suns have given basketball fans something to cheer about since 1968. This franchise was the first major Phoenix professional sports team when it debuted as an expansion club, along with the Milwaukee Bucks in the same year. Despite expectations, the Suns hit the ground running upon beginning operations in Phoenix. In the 1969-70 season, Phoenix made its first appearance in the playoffs, although they ended up losing in the first round. The team's ambition that year became a sign of things to come.
By the 1975-76 season, the Suns were good enough to make it to the NBA Finals. Phoenix acquired new talent, including Paul Westphal, who already had a championship win under his belt with the Boston Celtics. The Suns ironically faced the Celtics after the pivotal trade that brought Westphal to the team, only to lose in Boston in the NBA Finals. However, the Suns proved that they are a club capable of winning in subsequent years.
While the team was making dominant strides in the 90s, Paul Westphal was at the helm, serving in the role of head coach after his playing days in the league were over. Westphal helped bring the team to the Finals once again in the 1993 season, even though Phoenix ended up losing to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. That year the Suns were led by one of the game's most notable greats, “Sir” Charles Barkley, who has also been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Barkley wore number 34 while playing for the team, which was retired by the organization. Before ending his career, Barkley received the honor of being named the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 1993.
Steve Nash, a landmark guard for the Suns in the 2000s, followed in Barkley's footsteps by capturing the title of MVP in 2005 and 2006. Westphal was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame following his time in Phoenix thanks to his honorable coaching and playing time in the league. The Suns continue to look for young talent who can bring the franchise back to its winning ways.
Phoenix Suns Ticket Information:
The seats TicketCity offers for the Phoenix Suns come from our large network of suppliers. Those suppliers list and price these Suns tickets, and in many cases the ticket prices will be higher than the face value printed on them. After submitting your ticket order, TicketCity will verify the availability of those seats with our supplier before confirming your purchase. Tickets are shipped via FedEx as soon as they are available to send.
TicketCity is not affiliated with the Phoenix Suns, the official Suns website or US Airways Center.