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Suns Sit in Top Five of NBA.com Power Rankings

The Phoenix Suns look to again establish themselves as one of the top teams in the league after a shaky road stretch.

The Phoenix Suns have been without Chris Paul for six games now, and tonight's meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers will make that seven.

Dealing with right heel soreness, the Suns are an even 3-3 with Cameron Payne's presence in the starting lineup. 

Still without Cam Johnson, Phoenix is currently 10-6, good enough for second in the Western Conference. They currently sit behind the Utah Jazz (12-7) and are tied with the Denver Nuggets. 

The first stretch is now in the past, and although a few bumps in the road have occured, NBA.com's John Schuhmann still has the Suns at No. 4 in his latest power rankings, sitting behind Boston, Utah and Milwaukee.

Sins Sit in Top Five of NBA.com Rankings

Mikal Bridges

"Over their first five games without Chris Paul, the Suns allowed 120.4 points per 100 possessions, 4.1 more than they allowed in any five-game stretch last season. In Utah on Friday, the Suns had their second most efficient offensive game of the season (behind Devin Booker’s 49 points) … and lost," said Schuhmann. 

"The defensive regression was all about opponent shooting, both in the paint and from beyond the arc. The Jazz had 58 points (on 60% shooting) in the paint, while also outscoring the Suns by 21 points (48-27) from 3-point range.

"The Suns’ offense was good enough on Wednesday (draining a season-high 21 3-pointers, including 10 from the corners) to beat the Warriors a second time. And their defense finally had a good game on Sunday afternoon, holding the Knicks under a point per possession to secure the Suns’ first win (they were previously 0-3) against the Eastern Conference. 

"That defense was mostly about bench minutes, though. The Suns’ current starting lineup (with Cam Payne and Torrey Craig in place of Paul and Cam Johnson) has now allowed 122.1 points per 100 possessions, the worst mark among 19 league-wide lineups that have played at least 100 minutes. Rebounding has been an issue."

Phoenix sits just above Portland, Dallas and Denver in the power rankings for Week 6. 

The Suns play host to the Lakers, Pistons and Jazz this week. 

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