The Phoenix Suns aren't done yet. They could win Tuesday in Utah and beat the Spurs at home Wednesday and find themselves as a massive underdog against San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs. Maybe, like they did in 2010, they will even shock the world and beat the Spurs and advance further.
Then again, maybe not.
OK, probably not.
But the final chapter of this story shouldn't get in the way of a positive review earned by the team that everyone, everywhere had written off for dead.
The Suns this season proved (again) that fit and character combined with leadership and determination can create special chemistry that will often overcome a talent deficit -- to some degree, anyway.
Basketball isn't just about the flashiest players with the best individual skills and it was good to see the new Suns front office carry that forward into a season that was always going to be a transitional period. They managed to avoid limiting their future flexibility while at the same time getting the most out of guys like Sebastian Telfair, Shannon Brown and the forgotten-for-done Michael Redd.
It wasn't the sexiest team ever assembled, but it worked.
We don't know what moves the Suns might make in the coming offseason when they have a lot of cap space for the first time since 2004, and we certainly don't expect miracles in rebuilding this team into an instant contender, but we do feel more confident about what comes next simply based on the results of this year.
In sports, winning matters and closing out the season on a positive note as a competitive team fighting down to the wire for a playoff spot is a far better result than tanking and getting to pick a few spots higher in the draft.
So congratulations to the Phoenix Suns on a well played season. Expectations were exceeded and for at least half the year the team was highly entertaining and competitive which is far more than most "experts" predicted.
That's what we call winning.