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Are the Suns a top 3 title contender? Stan Van Gundy says no

The former NBA head coach joins The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz to discuss where Phoenix stands in the championship picture.

Stan Van Gundy joined The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz and discussed the impact his old friend Kevin Durant will have on the Phoenix Suns’ title chances.

Stan starts by closing the book on the KD/Kyrie era in Brooklyn by calling it absolute chaos for four years. And that also gives him pause before anointing the Suns because although he applauds the Suns for going for it he thinks the proper response to NBA trades is always “we’ll see.” He says you simply don’t know how things will work out and there are too many variables with things like injuries and team chemistry. Now, he says that when he looks at Phoenix he thinks it should work and they should be really good. But the question becomes how quickly does KD get healthy and how healthy does he get. Not to mention whether Chris Paul can stay healthy, which Stan points out hasn’t been a given lately, and whether or not the Suns have enough time to pull things together against teams with already established chemistry.

Stan says that, on paper, he would put the Suns as the best team in the West, but when Dan asks if he were to force Stan to bet on a team to win the NBA title Stan says he thinks the title will come down to the teams in the East. Stan says he thinks the three best teams are in the East — the Celtics, Bucks and 76ers — and those three teams are better than anyone in the West, including the new-look Suns.

Stan says he likes the Suns’ roster, but he thinks the Celtics, Bucks and 76ers have an edge because they have been together all season playing at a high level. Stan says he’ll take whoever comes out of the East, but he also thinks the West is wide open and that on paper he likes the Suns, although he thinks the Clippers have the deepest roster and the Warriors is the only team in the West where they know their core is capable of winning a championship. In the end, depending on how the brackets shape up, he thinks the West will come down to Phoenix and Denver.

Stan goes a step further and says he really doesn’t trust anybody in the West, even the Suns as right now we’re just looking at a list of names on paper.

Witty asks if the implosion of the Nets, as well as the failures of other mega-talented teams, has led to potential champions not just being a matter of who has the most talent. Stan says the No. 1 thing is still talent, no matter the intangibles, so that leaves you with a fairly short list of teams who can win the title. But he says the other things, like intangibles, defense and even luck also play a role.

Later in the show, Bill Lawrence joined the show to talk about his initial interactions with the legendary Harrison Ford ...


Local Hour: Dan Takes A Leap

  • It’s the David Samson local hour! We begin with Bally Sports’ finances and its impact on Major League Baseball, how MLB team payrolls work in lockstep with revenue, and how owners create their own socialist haven within their leagues. Then, Shohei Ohtani’s future, the NCAA and “employees,” and Damar Hamlin’s interview on GMA before we get to David’s movie review.

The Big Suey: Stan’s Spittin’ On Banshees

  • Howard Bryant joins the show to pick up our conversation on movie ticket prices before diving into NBA storylines. How long before the NBA has an issue marketing foreign players? What’s the most impressive part of LeBron’s career? And the legacy of players across the league who’ve played for tons of teams in their careers. Then, Stan Van Gundy is here to cover a range of topics including early morning Diet Coke, the “Chicago” shows, the Nets and Suns, and his scorching hot takes on The Banshees of Inisherin.

Hour 1: An Affront To Comedy, Therapy, and Harrison Ford

  • It’s rivalry week on the Le Batard Show: both Mike Schur and Bill Lawrence join us... Mike shares his Stat of the Day, Schursday Thunder, and ultimately may face a suspension after a feud with Jess. Bill Lawrence shares his tequila-fueled stories with Harrison Ford, why he feels so lucky to be where he is in his career, what it’s like to work with his wife, and more as we discuss his new show ‘Shrinking’ and the upcoming release of the new season of ‘Ted Lasso.’

Hour 2: Survive And Advance

  • Jessica is not having as much fun watching Full Swing as much as Drive to Survive, and Roy is trying to keep a specific phrase alive. Do you remember when U2 invaded all of our phones? Billy gives his thoughts on Bono, charity, Sing 2, and more. Plus, Justin Fields spoke about the playing conditions in Chicago, Jess and Dan break down the Sports Illustrated layoffs, and Billy tells us about “S and A” day on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.

Postgame Show: God Rest His Soul, Jerry Stiller

  • Local radio giveaways, Billy’s entertainment consumption, attributing a topic to an article, and Patrick Mahomes’ pee hands.

Watch more below!


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