Reggie Miller Issues Bold Statement on Phoenix Suns Reaching NBA Finals

Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns

Getty Devin Booker #1 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns.

The NBA playoffs are set to get underway for the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, April 16. Phoenix will take on the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round of the Western Conference series. NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller believes that a healthy Suns team is going to be tough to deal with.

“It’s hard for me to bet against them,” Miller said. “The West is wide open other than Phoenix in my opinion.”

Despite being the fourth seed in the Western Conference, Phoenix is viewed as one of the most dangerous teams, especially with the addition of Kevin Durant. Miller and his TNT NBA analyst colleague Greg Anthony spoke on a media Zoom call, shared by Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Despite not being one of the top seeds, Miller believes the Suns should be favorites to make it to the NBA Finals.

“Any team that Kevin Durant is on should be a favorite,” Miller said. “Now you pair him with Devin Booker and probably the best floor general that we’ve seen over the last 18 to 20 years in Chris Paul.”

The Suns will have one of the most talented starting lineups in the playoffs with the likes of Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and big man Deandre Ayton. But being impressive on paper and producing on the court are two different things. “I would be very surprised if the Suns don’t represent the West, but again, it’s why you play the games,” Miller said.

Miller on Phoenix Suns Not Making NBA Finals: ‘I would be Surprised’

One of the biggest hesitations with the Suns in their pursuit of a championship has been their chemistry. Phoenix was 30-26 this season before the team decided to go “all-in” with the move to acquire Durant from the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant would make his debut with the Suns on March 1 as the team would rattle off three-straight wins by an average win margin of 13 points. After suffering an ankle injury in pregame warmups before a March 8 matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant would miss the following ten games. Once he returned, Phoenix won five-straight games, meaning that the Suns have posted an 8-0 record with Durant on the court.

It’s been an impressive showing from the Suns when healthy, despite the lack of games to further develop chemistry. Phoenix is coming off of consecutive postseasons that have resulted in disappointment. In 2020-21, the Suns finished 51-21 before losing in the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. The following season, Phoenix finished the regular season with a 64-18 record, which was the best in the league. That was until the Suns were upset in the Western Conference Semifinals after losing in seven games to the Dallas Mavericks.

As shared by Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic, Miller pointed out that it’s been a pair of disappointing years for the Suns. That was until Miller emphasized that because of the addition of Durant, he would be “surprised” to not see the Suns in the NBA Finals.

“Two disappointing seasons, you add one of the best players ever in Kevin Durant, I would be surprised,” Miller said. “Again, it would take a lot for me not to pick the Suns coming out of the West just for the simple fact you’ve got two guys now who are the masters of the midrange (in Durant and Booker). You can just throw them the ball and say, go get me a bucket. Go get me a midrange and they can create offense for others.”

Greg Anthony Expresses Concern With Suns in Playoffs

The excitement around the Suns has been earned, especially when it comes to the potential of the team. Superstars Kevin Durant and Devin Booker have combined to average 50.0 points per game when on the court together. That amount of firepower will present challenges for any opposing team in the postseason.

While Miller was confidence in Phoenix’s ability to advance in the playoffs, his fellow TNT colleague Greg Anthony was quick to point out obstacles for Phoenix. Anthony expressed that the Suns haven’t had to deal with any adversity yet.

“They still haven’t been through any real fires yet,” Anthony said. “They haven’t faced any adversity in the postseason. They haven’t dealt with one of their top guys maybe missing a game with an injury. They haven’t gone through that yet. So that’s the one area of concern I would say is that we think we know, but we don’t know because we haven’t seen this team together really that long.”