Takeaways From Suns' Win vs Cavs

The Suns are back in the top 6 in the West - here's what we learned from their last victory.
Apr 3, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a basket
Apr 3, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after a basket / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns took care of business last night.

The Valley's favorite team has bounced back quite nicely in response to two rough losses last week - they have a pair of convincing victories against quality teams in the New Orleans Pelicans and Cleveland Cavaliers now.

The Suns also now slide back into the top 6 in the West following a Pelicans loss - and now they control their own destiny with just over a week left in the season.

Here are three things we learned from the game last night:

Supporting Cast Shaping Up

The Devin Booker/Kevin Durant duo will get the vast majority of praise and rightfully so - they did combine for 72 points, after all.

The role players deserve love too.

Royce O'Neale - who will be mentioned again shortly - hit five three-pointers while also collecting two steals in relief of usual starter Grayson Allen.

Bol Bol scored 15 points and brought infectious energy to the defensive side of the ball.

Jusuf Nurkic failed to make a field goal, but pitched in with four offensive boards, six assists, and some admirable rim protection against a difficult matchup.

Eric Gordon was a team-best +26 in his 26 minutes on the floor.

Bradley Beal is obviously much better than a role player, but he has done an impeccable job as the full-time PG over the last two games nonetheless.

Things are finally shaping up for Phoenix.

Royce O'Neale Should Start

This is absolutely not intended to slight Grayson Allen in any way.

Allen has been a model of consistency for the Suns this season, starting all 69 games he has played in while nearly boasting 50/40/90 splits.

The thought process behind this is more fit.

O'Neale is simply a more versatile defender and feels like a more natural fit next to Durant on offense, while coach Frank Vogel can mix-and-match Allen as a secondary creator/spot up threat in lineups built around Booker.

One thing is sure: the Suns made the correct move when trading for O'Neale, regardless of potential future role changes.

Suns Can Beat Anyone

Many in the NBA world already believed this, but the last week exemplified it.

Phoenix is one of only two teams to defeat the Denver Nuggets more than once on the road this season - and obviously handled two playoff-caliber squads in back-to-back showings.

The Suns need to show more over the last 10 days of the regular season, but as of now they appear to be coming into their own at the perfect time - and are a team that no one is seeking out as a potential first-round matchup.

The Suns are back in action tomorrow night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kevin Hicks