The beginning of the NBA season has provided some compelling stories. Phoenix Suns are involved. LeBron James is an MVP candidate again. The Miami Heat looks like one of the better teams in the East Conference.
Portland surprised 3-4, Sacramento and Orlando at 2-6 and Brooklyn at 3-4 were disappointed, the Los Angeles Clippers looked deadly after their opening season victories over the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State. lingering on when the warriors figure out who will be part of the squad next season.
Some things are the same. The New York Knicks are still good.
In our NBA hot topics this week, NBA TODAY Sports NBA reporters Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina and Suns beat writer Duane Rankin's Republic of Arizona solve three questions:
Are the Phoenix Suns real, like in a playoff candidate?
Rating: Wait and see the situation. Where will they be after Deandre Ayton's suspension of 25 matches, (for violating NBA's anti-drug policy)? They may be 4-2 without him, but a lot may change over the next month or so. After that, how will Ayton fit in when he returns? That may initially eliminate their chemistry and timing, but they play as a playoff team. Phoenix is the only team in the top 10 in attack (eighth, 115.0 points) and defensive (ninth, 106.4). Devin Booker, playing as an All-Star, Aron Baynes is filling admiration for Ayton and Monty Williams is pushing all the buttons to the right. Golden State won the play-off match with Stephen Curry on …