NBA Finals: Why the Suns Will Win the NBA Championship | Sports news

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By DAVID BRANDT, AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX (AP) – This version of the Phoenix Suns will be a case study for future NBA executives on how to rush to build a roster for the championship.

Roll the dice on an aging – but motivated – Hall of Fame caliber (Chris Paul) and pair him with a seasoned trainer he knows and respects (Monty Williams). Add in a few more savvy veterans who were previously deep in the playoffs (Jae Crowder and Torrey Craig). Then pair them with a talented young core who was hungry for the wisdom they offer (Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton).

Voila! A playoff juggernaut is born.

“It took a long time,” said Booker after beating the Clippers last week to advance to the NBA finals. “We’ve seen the bottom, the bottom for several years, and just bowed our heads. Wait here for this moment. Monty comes in, builds the culture, he guides us through the preparation and meets the opportunity.

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“Those were those moments right here and we took them and ran with them.”

There’s no reason to believe it’ll stop in the NBA finals in the next two weeks. The Suns have a healthy, deep squad that is responsive to any challenge and has crossed these playoffs with a 12-4 record. Game 1 is Tuesday in Phoenix.

36-year-old Paul is a timeless marvel that seems to peak at the right time in these playoffs. He battled the Lakers with a shoulder injury in the first round and missed two games against the Clippers due to COVID-19, but he was brilliant in the final game 6 win against the Clippers, scoring 41 points on 16 of 24 shooting.

Booker and Ayton were great in the postseason despite their relative lack of experience. The 6-foot-5 booker has carried a large amount of scoring averaging 27 points per game, with an old-school mid-range game that the opposing teams know is coming but apparently can’t stop.

Then there is Ayton, who was a revelation in those playoffs. The Suns have been scolded in the past for taking Ayton to # 1 overall in 2018 ahead of stars like Luka Doncic and Trae Young, but Ayton is the first to play in the NBA finals.

The ultra-sporty 6-foot-11 center was arguably the most important part of this team. He averaged 16.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, shot a ridiculous 70.6% off the field and provided strong central defense against some of the best big men in the league.

He also already has a game-winning bucket that will live forever in Sun’s playoff lore after stuffing an alley-oop pass home from Jae Crowder with 0.7 seconds remaining to give the Suns an exciting 114-113- Win against the Clippers in Game 2.

“He’s accepted the job,” said Williams. “He welcomed being part of the scouting report. He is dedicated to coaching. He understands we’re trying to call him, not out, and how much he matters to us. He accepted everything. “

Now the Suns are seizing the opportunity to win the franchise’s first NBA championship.

It will happen. The pieces fit together perfectly and there’s a bit of mojo going on in the desert.

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