The Phoenix Suns are still rivals of the L.A. Lakers, even though both teams are awful. This is a rare occurrence: The Suns and Lakers are two of the most successful franchises in NBA history (though Phoenix certainly lacks the titles to prove it).
It stands to reason that as both clubs rebuild, Phoenix would prefer if L.A. does not get yet another top-three pick in this year's draft and would prefer if the Lakers would lose their 2019 pick. The path to increasing the odds of this happening includes being worse than the Lakers.
The Suns are currently two games better than the Lakers in the win column. It's already close, and Phoenix can really not afford any more wins and expect to tie or finish worse than L.A. Problem: They faced the Brooklyn Nets — the actual worst team in the league — on Thursday.
Solution: That starting lineup you see above, which happens to be the youngest starting lineup in NBA history at a mean of 21 years and 14 days. The starting lineup is barely old enough to drink! The Suns determined that the lineup was younger than all but one college team playing in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.
If these players were in college, Marquese Chriss and Derrick Jones Jr. would be sophomores, Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker would be juniors and Alex Len would ... uh, he'd be in the second year of grad school, or he'd be a redshirt senior who also sat a year due to a transfer.
By the way, it worked. The Suns got smoked by the Nets. Your move, Lakers.
Scores galore ...
PHX 98, BKN 126
TOR 101, MIA 84
LAC 95, DAL 97
MEM 90, SAS 97
NYK 95, POR 110
... And plenty more
Speaking of Chriss, he's been quite improved since the All-Star break: 13.5 points on 54 percent shooting, six rebounds, 1.7 blocks and a steal. The Suns will probably be bad again next year, and they need to find a defensive identity. But there are some pieces here.
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