Are the Phoenix Suns legitimate playoff contenders?

This Phoenix Suns team is fun to watch. Lobs everywhere, blocked shots sent into the stands, the beholders of the number one fast break offense in the league statistically running up and down the floor and the list goes on and on. They play fast and fearless on both sides of the court. They may be young, but you wouldn’t know it if you watched them play. The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since the 2009-2010 season when they made it to the Western Conference finals. Could they actually be legitimate playoff contenders this year?

It has been a roller-coaster start to the 2013-2014 season for Phoenix Suns, to say the least. While they do have a handful of “bad” losses, they also have plenty of quality wins both on the road and at home. Another thing they’ve done well is stay competitive in the games they’ve lost. I’m not a “moral victories” type of guy, but when the Suns are playing the Spurs, Heat and Thunder down to the wire on the road then that’s saying something. Many experts predicted that Phoenix would finish as one of the worst teams not only in the Western Conference, but in the entire league.  So far the “experts” could not be more wrong.

The Suns dynamic duo (Bledsoe and Dragic) in the backcourt has been a huge key to their success.

Sitting at 13-9 and in the midst of a 4 game winning streak, Phoenix is currently the 6th seed in the Western Conference. If the season ended today they’d be a playoff team. Just let that sink in.

If Phoenix was in the Eastern Conference then the 13-9 mark would be good for the 3rd seed. Yeah, I know the East is horrible and it’s not saying much, but it’s impressive to see Phoenix sitting where they are right now in such a competitive conference.

Much of the credit is due to first year head coach Jeff Hornacek, as he has done a terrific job in such a short amount of time bringing this group together. The chemistry is clicking, they’re having fun and playing with a chip on their shoulders.

Fun fact: The Suns have handed the 19-4 Portland Trailblazers two of their four losses. They’ve also beat the Rockets, Lakers and Pelicans on the road to add to their early season resume.

All in all, I do think that the Suns have a shot at making the playoffs in the West as a 7 or 8 seed. It’s going to be very difficult, given that they play in such a deep conference, but with how well they’ve played thus far I don’t think you can rule them out as playoff contenders. The Bledsoe-Dragic backcourt is one of the best in the league and has flown under the radar quite a bit.

Now, if they were in the East then they would be pretty close to clinching a playoff spot sometime in January. I kid, of course.

The Suns have a tradition of winning, holding the 4th highest winning percentage in the National Basketball Association’s history. It looks like they’re trying to keep the mark up even through their “rebuilding” phase.