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The Phoenix Suns’ Stunning Playoff Collapse

Until their collapse in game 7 of the Western Conference semi-finals, the Suns had played like a team on a mission. They had the best record in the NBA, with 64 wins and 18 losses over the 82-game regular season. No team in the NBA had played better than the Suns, and expectations were high that 2022 would be the year when they would finally bring a championship home to the Valley of the Sun. However, the team’s performance during the playoffs was in stark contrast to how they’d performed throughout the regular season.

The Suns struggled in their first playoff matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, the number 8 seed in the NBA. Betting is one way for NBA fans to participate in the excitement of the regular season and the playoffs. Therefore, many fans regularly checked the NBA championship odds in the lead-up to the playoffs with high expectations for the Suns. In the end, they collapsed in the second round of the playoffs, shocking fans and analysts alike. Keep reading to learn what led to the Suns’ stunning collapse on their road to the NBA championship.

The Phoenix Sports Curse

Anyone who’s followed Arizona sports knows that the Valley curse is all too real. Phoenicians are used to disappointment, and many try not to get too excited when their local sports teams are performing well. Take the Phoenix Suns, for example. They’ve appeared in three NBA Finals: against the Celtics in 1976, the Bulls in 1993, and the Bucks in 2021. Despite three appearances in the NBA’s biggest game of the year, the Suns have lost three times.

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But they haven’t been without great players. They’ve had All-Stars on their rosters and big names like Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley. It seems like no matter how much effort Suns management and coaches put into building a championship-worthy team, however, it still doesn’t happen. The Phoenix Cardinals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Arizona Coyotes have had similar bad luck. Of Arizona’s four major professional sports teams, only the Diamondbacks have won a title, and that was back in 2021.

Given Arizona’s track record, it’s not surprising that many sports fans in the state believe it to be cursed. After the Suns’ stunning demise, many have pointed to the curse to explain what went wrong. If something can go wrong for a sports team in Arizona, it does go wrong, inevitably leaving fans disappointed. Surprisingly, despite all of the losses, Arizona sports fans are some of the most loyal in the country.

On the Brink of Victory

A year ago, the Suns were on the brink of winning the franchise’s first NBA Championship in its 50+ year history. The team were up 2 – 0 against the Milwaukee Bucks and playing almost perfect basketball. However, the Bucks mounted a stunning comeback, winning the next four games of the series, and sending the Suns home empty-handed for another year.

The Suns regrouped over the summer and planned a revenge tour to make up for their defeat in the 2021 NBA Finals. Everything seemed to be going their way until the playoffs began. Fans were surprised how the Suns underperformed against the New Orleans Pelicans but kept hope alive that they’d warm up and perform better in the second round. While the Suns performed well in their first two home games against Dallas, they’d ultimately lose Game 7 and the series to the Dallas Mavericks in a historic blowout on their home court.

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An Epic Meltdown

Fans have spent the days since the Suns’ unexpected early exit from the playoffs looking for answers. Dallas humiliated Phoenix in front of hometown fans, leading by 46 points at one point in the game. It seemed that the Suns had decided not to show up for the season’s biggest game, and the loss will go down as one of the biggest Game 7 losses in NBA history. Unfortunately, the team has been tight-lipped about what happened, so nobody knows what caused one of the most epic collapses in the NBA, but fans are hoping to learn more over the summer.