When it’s been nearly two weeks since your last loss, people tend to notice.
The Power Rankings pundits certainly did, and a universal rise in the respective polls was the result.
Phoenix jumped no fewer than three spots in each set of rankings, and in one case as many as five. Their meteoric rise from preseason opinions has left them the early season darlings of the league.
Here’s the rundown of the Suns’ standings in the five major sets of power rankings, provided by ESPN.com, NBA.com, USA Today, SI.com and CBSSports.com.
ESPN.com - 7th
Marc Stein’s “committee of one” has seen enough of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe to admit they’re “clicking better than anyone ever imagined.”
That’s not necessarily true, since Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough and Head Coach Jeff Hornacek imagined exactly this before the season even started: the two guards forming a backcourt team capable of initiating or finishing plays with equal profiency and taking pressure off each other in the process.
With all that in mind, Stein pegged the Suns’ No. 7 in his rankings and finished by asking a pertinent question: “When do we stop referring to Hornacek & Co. as a desert mirage?”
NBA.com - 6th
John Schuhmann highlighted a different individual in his poll, pointing out via link the various defensive highlights made by Miles Plumlee.
That was just part of the reason he bumped the Suns up from 10th to No. 6 in the rankings, ahead of the Clippers, Rockets and Nuggets, all of whom boast records as good or better than Phoenix.
And for those concerned about the upcoming schedule (Spurs, Nuggets, Mavericks), Schuhmann tossed this in for good measure:
"This week's schedule is a challenge, but they're 5-3 against the other eight West teams above .500 so far. They're not just beating up on bad teams…"
SI.com - 6th
Matt Dollinger awarded the Suns the biggest jump out of the five polls, moving them from 11th to No. 6, also ahead of the Clippers, Rockets and Nuggets. This also marks the second straight rankings that has Phoenix one spot downstairs from the mighty Heat, further proof of changing tunes around the league.
USA Today - 8th
The Suns’ receive their lowest ranking of the week here. The folks over at USA Today were reluctant to let Phoenix leapfrog Houston and the Clippers, though those two clubs stayed put compared to a week ago, whereas the Suns made the move up from 11th.
In an effort to punctuate extremes, they went with this take on the boys in orange:
“They are 2-1 against the Blazers and 1-2 against the Kings. That is about as inexplicable as their stunning success.”
CBSSports.com - 7th
Another three-spot jump for the Suns, though perhaps this one is most emphatic. At least it seems that way, due to the use of capital letters Matt Moore feels compelled to use when talking about this particular team:
“NO, SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS. YOU SHOULD REALLY STOP TAKING THIS TEAM LIGHTLY. THEY ARE SERIOUSLY GOOD. YOU NEED TO ... Is this megaphone on?”
While we hear you loud and clear, Matt, we’re fine with the rest of the league being slow to catch on.