In 2007, the Dallas Mavericks finished with 67 wins. After a brutal defeat to the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals, they entered the next season with some revenge, leaving everyone behind the efforts of the Player of the Year Dark Knitzki. The long run after the end of the season was an impossible feat, especially since their first-round opponent was a team that had fought to win their half game, the Golden State Warriors. There’s a good chance of knowing what happened next: the Warriors, including their irresistible athletic guards and wingers’ barrage, apparently all cried their lives, ignited inspirational alarms, and entered a rare environment in NBA history that hasn’t been occupied since.

Fifteen years later, it is still unlikely that anyone will join the “We Believe” Warriors in this category, but there is no doubt that this year’s edition of the 2007 Mavericks, this year’s Phoenix Sun, is increasingly aware of that unusual spring ghost. With a Landslide 64-win regular-season win, losing to the Milwaukee Box at the World Cup in 2021, the Suns now face a true first-round fight with MVP nominee Devin Booker, who has been ruled out indefinitely due to a tough hamstring, New Orleans. The Pelicans looked like the fastest, strongest, highest-jumping, and most open team to pull the series 1-1 after a stunning disaster in Arizona.

The idea of ​​the Pelicans beating the clean best team of the season may soon seem like a joke. It’s hard to overestimate the nature of the skills that Desert winner Monty Williams created in the desert: Booker missed 14, Chris Paul missed 17, Dunder Eaton 24 and Jay Crowder 15. The starting line-up of The Sun, the two big reserves, Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne, come together for another 40. It wasn’t really important, because the Sun’s principles are firmly in place, and their dedication to margins and perfection in enforcing the rules of the game is so strong that it can sometimes make anything real in the game seem interchangeable. Javalle McGee, Bismack Beyombo, Laundry Schmidt and Tory Craig were all ready to set foot on the Williams model with confidence at any moment, only Mikal Bridge being a reliable chief.

This kind of mentality will be needed for the next person without poker. In Game 2, Craig didn’t seem to be the answer to the missing stud puzzle, or there wasn’t a full bench unit that fought to stay in the game late in the third quarter, after Booker exited after 31 worrying points. Half performance. The Pelican, led by the efforts of three start-ups Jose Alvarado, Herb Jones and Trey Murphy III, as well as the thrilling open-court dashing for super athlete-turned-corner Jackson Hayes, was in its third season, showing off the conference champions. And when the Suns tried to slow down the game and try to regain their fourth quarter of time in their comfort zone – where they were historically influential – Brandon Ingram and CJ McCullum prevented them from making devastating half-court shots, Phoenix was never allowed. Close the gap. .

Paul and Booker play key roles in the Sons Clutch Time Massacre: either to lure defenders to mid-range islands where they take them to pasture and because they both can — but because everyone else removes the ball and knows exactly what their punishment scheme is. You can pay special attention to both of them. The teams equipped to handle both in isolation mode don’t really exist, but the teams that kept 37-year-old Paul alone do. The Pelicans had something to look forward to so far: even after their defeat in Game 1, Paul closed the door on them, the conflict was not too far away. And in the second game, playing poker in the best half of his life was the only thing that took him away from her until it happened.

The adversity for the Swan is still long, as the Phoenix are smart enough and deep enough to destroy a young team that is still finding their footing like them, every player needs after planning the Don Booker game and reorganizing production levels. Delivery, and how. And their desire for the swan’s appetite for speed must be greater. But what if the world is a weirder place than we thought, a big reason for the chaotic parity with the new play-off league championship that we never even imagined? No. 9 of the Pelicans, who were microwave at the end of the season through trade and rapid youth project improvements, won’t be here without the new format, but now they look like a team they should have always been. They fight rude, very easy and with great conviction in their amazing relationship. They are playing for the date