• The Phoenix Suns are undefeated in 41 games when having the lead entering the fourth quarter
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams deserves as much praise as his personnel for their run of success
  • A matchup with the Golden State Warriors could await them in the Western Conference Finals

With the Phoenix Suns’ most recent win over the Brooklyn Nets, they now hold the distinction of being undefeated in 41 games when having the lead entering the fourth quarter.

This impressive stat points to a number of things going well for the upstarts in the Valley.

Firstly, it shows that their defense is extremely-potent despite being underrated by observers as they have been able to shut down and siphon their opponents' momentum and turn it into easy points in transition.

The Suns have come to rely on swingman Mikal Bridges as their primary defender as he uses his length and basketball IQ to shut down the opposing team’s best player while also being a leader on the defensive end.

Taking into account that their roster can deal with any lineup thrown at them becomes a testament to how deep the Suns' rotation actually is.

Secondly, the stat points to how much better the Suns have become at orchestrating their offense.

Having one of the all-time best point guards in Chris Paul being the head of the entire offense certainly does wonders for the reigning Western Conference Champions, but pairing him with a certified scorer in Devin Booker pushes that offense to greater heights.

Subscription-based stats website Cleaning the Glass has the Suns ranked second in both points allowed (104.3) and points scored (114.6) per 100 possessions–a deadly combination that speaks highly of a title contender.

The Suns have also taken advantage of their ability to shoot from anywhere on the court, ranking third in effective field goal percentage and being the fourth-best team in terms of shooting the ball from three.

Head coach Monty Williams also deserves praise for molding this team into a championship contender since being hired by general manager James Jones in 2019.

Their undefeated run in the 2020 NBA Bubble spawned multiple memes about the “Bubble Suns,” and the team took it to heart and surpassed expectations the following season when they reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.

Falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games after taking a 2-0 lead has left the Suns wanting more and that desire manifested itself into their success this season.

Williams’ work this season has been recognized by the league after taking home two Coach of the Month awards (November and January) and the entire coaching staff being named to the upcoming NBA All-Star Game on February 20.

With Williams at the helm, Paul dictating the offense and Bridges leading the defense, the Suns are more than capable of making it back to the NBA Finals this season.

Following the legendary Phil Jackson’s "theory of true championship contender status," the Suns have certainly met the coach's criteria and should be able to overcome the odds once this season is all said and done.

After all, the Suns are riding an 11-game win streak when many of their key players were sidelined due to injury which speaks volumes of the roster that they silently built over the past two seasons.

The Warriors, now with Klay Thompson back on the roster, are still their primary competition in the West and should make for a great conference finals matchup if both sides make it.

But for now, the Suns’ momentum and consistency have shown no signs of stopping as they continue to dominate the NBA landscape for the rest of the regular season.