After a dismal 25-57 record last season, the Phoenix Suns’ 2013-14 campaign is off to a good start with a 16-10 record, including wins in seven of their last eight games. Much of their early success has to do with the dynamic between guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, which reminds Suns coach Jeff Hornacek of a similar chemistry he had with current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson in the late 80s.
The pairing of Hornacek and Johnson helped take a 28-54 Suns team in the 1987-88 season to a 55-27 record and a trip to the Western Conference Finals in the following season. The Suns hope they can achieve similar success after General Manager Ryan McDonough brought in Bledsoe as part of a three-team deal this past summer.
"When Ryan asked me about (the trade), I said, 'Hey, Eric looks like Kevin Johnson when he was here playing in Phoenix, and Goran is kind of like I was,' " Hornacek told USA TODAY Sports.
Rather than have Dragic and Bledsoe vie for the point guard spot, Hornacek employed a two-guard system that is paying dividends thus far. Dragic is averaging careers highs of 18.7 points per game and Bledsoe is doing the same with 19.1 points per game.
The Dragic-Bledsoe combination certainly has a hand in the Suns’ 103.3 points per game, which puts them at the eighth spot in the NBA for offensive production. If the two can stay healthy and maintain this kind of pace, the Suns will no doubt be the surprise of the 2013-14 season.