It's that time of year again. Everyone dons their wizard hat and predicts the future, based on the impressions of the present. Good teams will be good again. Bad teams will be bad. Splashy teams (NY, LA, Dallas, Brooklyn) get the headlines and the benefit of the doubt. Boring teams get ignored.
When it comes to the Phoenix Suns, though, most of the pundits on the internet have decided to "punt". Or to use an NBA term, to "swallow their whistle".
The knee-jerk perception among media is to bury the post-Nash Suns. Heck, even the NBA discounts the Suns, giving them only 5 nationally-televised games this year. How can a team that waved goodbye to their best player, without replacing him with a clearly better one, be anywhere near as good the next season?
But then part of the exercise of writing a season preview is to analyze the actual Suns roster, which has led to some raised eyebrows. Okay, Steve Nash and Grant Hill are gone. But they do have the impressive, young, media-loved Goran Dragic. Oh yeah, and there's steady Luis Scola. The interesting potential of Markieff Morris. And the enignmatic but uber-talented Michael Beasley. Hmm... Plus, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat are still there too?
That's the point at which the pundits throw up their hands and equivocate. The Suns should be bad, because they didn't even make the playoffs last season before giving up their best player. But then the Suns could be good, because Dragic and Scola nearly carried a worse Rockets team to the postseason.
Who knows, right?
Some of them, in their moment of indecision, return to their simple comfort level and predict horrible things anyway. Others remain on the fence. Only Clyde Drexler - the TV color analyst for Dragic and Scola last season - is willing to ride the Suns' horse into battle.
Check out some previews throughout the interwebs as of this morning.