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Jalen Rose has high expectations for a healthy Phoenix Suns team

Former NBA player and now ESPN analyst Jalen Rose had some high praise for the Phoenix Suns, claiming that they are now favorites to not just win the West, but to win it all.

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This all, of course, depends on whether or not Kevin Durant and the rest of the Suns starting lineup can remain healthy during the final six games of the season, not to mention playoffs. After all, Phoenix has only played four games over the past month with a fully healthy starting five.

Nevertheless, this high praise comes from the fact that the Suns have yet to lose while Kevin Durant is on course, regardless of how well he plays.

The Suns with KD beat the Hornets, Bulls, and Mavericks back in March, Durant averaged nearly 27 points in this stretch while shooting at a ridiculous .690 rate.

However, the real test of Phoenix’s depth will be against the red-hot Timberwolves on Wednesday night. And the Suns seemingly passed, winning by seven. 

Durant struggled early on, heading into the half shooting 1 of 8, and this only continued as the night went on. The 13-time All Star went on to shoot 5 of 18 for 16 points.

Luckily, his presence alone was enough to push the Suns to a third-straight win. Without KD on the floor, with the way Phoenix was playing, it is highly unlikely they would have been able to scratch away with a win.

And when looking at their path to the finals in the wide-open Western Conference, if the Suns were to make a run, this would be the year to do it.

Per Jalen Rose, the West is anyone’s game.

“We haven’t seen the Nuggets do it just yet. Memphis, they are in the conversation, but I don’t believe they are ready to win the conference just yet. The players that we’ve seen do it…LeBron James and Anthony Davis…I just don’t think they’re gonna do it this year. Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers…Paul George is injured. I don’t think they are gonna do it this year. And without Wiggins, I don’t think the Splash Brothers are gonna do it this year.”

Phoenix currently holds a .5 game lead over the Clippers for the fourth spot in the Western Conference. But, with two more games remaining against the Nuggets, one against the rising Thunder, one against the Lakers, and a season-finale against the Thunder, keeping this fourth seed will be no easy task.


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