The Phoenix Suns flatlined at the worst possible moment as they got utterly obliterated by the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. It was a collapse of truly epic proportions. The Suns were playing in Phoenix and collectively put up what very well could be the worst playoff performance of all time. The final score of 123-90 dramatically overstates how close the game was.
Just about every fan who tuned in last night was astounded, and the same goes for the sports media world. What follows is a collection of the reactions from the key voices in the NBA media sphere, reflecting on the stunning end to the Suns' season and how this could've happened.
Nick Wright Was Right
Nick Wright has been on the Mavericks' bandwagon since March, when the Dallas defense coalesced right as Luka Doncic hit yet another level and they proved to be dangerous foes every night. Wright has also spent the last several weeks trumpeting the "Chris Paul is gonna blow it again" slogan. Well... Wright was right, and he took his well-earned victory lap this morning by specifically calling out everybody on the show who spoke out against Doncic in the process of gloating. By the end the Fox Sports host sounded like a proud father. A satisfying morning for Nick Wright.
Patrick Beverley: Chris Paul is a Traffic Cone on Defense
In what was either an incredible coincidence or a genius last-second decision by the Get Up production team, Patrick Beverley showed up to the New York studio on Monday morning to talk Suns-Mavs. Beverley spent all Sunday night tweeting about the game and took advantage of his opportunity in the spotlight today by explaining how Phoenix needed to bench Chris Paul instead of Deandre Ayton. Specifically, Beverley went viral for lambasting Paul's defense, calling him a "traffic cone" who should be on the receiving end of the same slander Ben Simmons faced after his own playoff flop last season. Real hating hours for Beverley, who is reveling in the moment.
Brian Windhorst: It's Luka Doncic's League Now
While the Suns played horrifically, Luka Doncic showed out to ensure Phoenix never even had a chance to the tune of 35 points on 12-of-19 shooting with 10 rebounds and four assists in only 30 minutes of action. Windhorst took his spot on ESPN this morning to explain how we're all living in Doncic's world now that he's broken through the playoff ceiling and figured out how to carry over his consistent excellence in the regular season to the gauntlet of the postseason. Frightening stuff, really.
Stephen A. Smith Keeps It Simple
ESPN's main man already chimed in on the epic Suns collapse via his Twitter account (accidentally tagging the wrong Devin Booker in the process) but we all knew he would have more to say on Monday's First Take. Stephen A. kept it straightforward: everything went wrong for Phoenix. Smith apologized for being as wrong as he was, which may very well be a first for the longtime sports shouter. He rattled off the stats to demonstrate the record-breaking performance put forth by Phoenix. When it rains, it pours, and boy did it pour for the Suns last night.
Skip Bayless Has Never Seen That Before
Skip Bayless is a grizzled veteran of the sports coverage game, turning 70 years-old this past December, and even he has never seen anything like last night. Bayless couldn't believe that Chris Paul put forth such incredible performances in April before collapsing like he did in Game 7. The Fox Sports analyst noted that the Suns had averaged a 19-point margin in home wins this series before the egg they laid and exclaimed "What was this? What happened?!" No hot takes from Bayless. Just pure, unadulterated astonishment.