During a recent episode of Fox Sports Radio’s The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker, the two radio hosts shared opposing views on Phoenix’s path to the 2021 NBA Finals.
Rob Parker On Suns’ Run to the Finals: ‘They Had the Easiest Path’
Parker, who believes one of the Suns’ biggest breaks of the postseason came in the first round, says taking down an Anthony Davis-less Los Angeles Lakers team opened the door for a smooth run to the Western Conference finals, and beyond.
“I know they were the number one team in the West but let’s just be honest. They had the easiest path,” Parker said via Fox Sports’ The Odd Couple. “It was a MASH unit that they went through. Anthony Davis, remember? They were down in that series, Chris. Everybody thought the Lakers were going back to the championship. Anthony Davis gets hurt — the Suns win that series. We knew that, eventually, Denver was going to have to pay the piper without having Jamal Murray, they had a nice run. But, you can’t keep that up without losing a player of his caliber.
“And, then nobody thought the Clippers were going to be able to beat Utah after Kawhi Leonard got hurt in Game 4. They win that series and, of course, the Suns are able to go through the Western Conference without playing against their best players.”
Rob Parker On The Suns: ‘If They Win a Championship, It Counts’
With that being said, Parker says, now that Phoneix is in the NBA Finals, his discrediting the legitimacy of the Suns’ postseason run would end, if the Suns go any further.
“Hey, if they win the championship; it counts,” Parker added. “I’m not into asterisks or trying to tell people whatever. But, I’m telling you, if I touched the Suns’ championship run to the Finals, I’d have to wash my hands. If I went to the bank and tried to cash a check from them, it would bounce. If they gave me any money in my hand, it would be a $3 bill. That’s how fugazi this run to the NBA Finals has been for the Suns. I’m sorry. Nice job, Chris Paul but you got lucky. The Red Sea parted for you to allow the Suns to get to the NBA Finals; that’s where we are.
“I want people to own up to it. No AD, no Jamal Murray, no Kawhi Leonard; you know what that means? It means Easy street for the Phoenix Suns.”
Parker made some strong points in his argument. The impact injuries made on teams and their All-Star talents was unprecedented, including the Lakers missing Davis, who could have been a big difference in the best-of-7 series outcome. Davis missed Game 5 and played only five minutes of Game 6.
However, the Suns, who are heading toward an NBA Finals duel against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and the Milwaukee Bucks, weren’t an exception to the rule of top-tier teams losing their best players to injuries, as Broussard politely points out in his response to Parker’s claims.
“Anthony Davis was hurt, but you know who else was hurt, Rob? Chris Paul. That’s right, who you conveniently left out of your little speel,” Broussard replied. “Chris Paul was hurt, too. And, then, Denver? It’s not like they struggled with Denver. It’s not like it was a nail-bitter — like, a series that was up for grabs. They blew them out. First game; beat them by 17 (points). (The) second game, beat them by 25, third game; 14. I mean they blew the doors off of the MVP and his squad.
And, then, you got the nerve about the Clippers. Of course, Kawhi Leonard is hurt but you still thought they were going to win the Finals or get to the Finals.”