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Ashooh: Suns Are Now The Best Team In The NBA

Suns have fifth-best odds to win the NBA title, which brings big value

I said Tuesday night was a measuring stick game for the Suns and Warriors. Keeping with that standard, it's now fair to say the Suns are the best team in the NBA.

They deserve all the praise they've been getting since their win against Golden State.

Now, this could change, because it's the NBA and all, but right now, the Suns proved themselves taking down the only team with a better record than them, and extending their winning streak to 17 games.

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All About Defense

It's not wrong to say the Suns got a very cleared-out path to the NBA Finals last year, with every other team along the way dealing with injuries to stars during their series. But as we can see now after taking down the Warriors in Round 1 of their season series, without Devin Booker for most of the game, it's clear the Suns were no fluke last year.

Phoenix entered their game against Golden State favored in 18 of the 20 previous games (they were 2.5-point favorites against the Warriors as well), winning by an average of 11 points a game during their win streak.

A big reason for that has been their defensive effort. The Suns are now seventh in points allowed per game (104.6), fifth in opponent field-goal percentage (43.4%), and are second in defensive rating (103.5) while holding the Warriors under 100 points for the first time all season.

Golden State also turned the ball over 23 times, while Mikal Bridges harassed Steph Curry all game long.

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More CP3 Respect, Please

Let's also not forget the heart and soul of this team in future Hall of Famer Chris Paul, one of the great point guards ever to play the game.

The drastic change in both culture and success on the court has been led by Paul since he arrived in Phoenix before last season. At 36 years old, Paul is still averaging over 10 assists a game, while barely turning it over more than two times a game. You have to understand, to handle the ball as much as Paul does while only once in his entire 17-year career averaging three turnovers per game (it was right at 3.0 by the way in '08-'09) is remarkable. Every other year it's been fewer than three, while still being one of the best playmakers in the game.

In case you're wondering, Magic Johnson, averaged 3.9 turnovers a game for his career, Isiah Thomas 3.8, and even Curry 3.1 just as a frame of reference.

Paul deserves to be in the conversation with the all-time greats way more than he currently is.

I get it, the only issue truly holding him back is a lack of a title, because this is what NBA Twitter does. Right now the Suns have the fifth-best odds to win (+1079 consensus), but with teams like the Lakers (+856) still ahead of them, you can expect these odds to shorten at some point, so grab that value.

When Klay Thompson comes back, we'll have a full gauge as to where these teams truly stack up, but for right now, the Suns are at the top of the heap.

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