The end of the calendar year hasn’t been kind to the Phoenix Suns, as a poor record and season-ending injury to their best player will likely put them out of the playoff hunt before the All-Star break. It was announced Tuesday that Eric Bledsoe would miss the remainder of the season with a torn left meniscus, and the team is in the midst of a 2-8 skid over the last 10 games.
Things won’t get much easier before waving goodbye to 2015. After facing the 27-6 San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center Wednesday night, where the Spurs have yet to lose a game this season (18-0), the Suns continue their road trip on Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder (22-10), who have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games.
On the secondary market, tickets to see the Thunder are more expensive than the game against the Spurs. According to TotallyTickets.com, the December 30th game against the Spurs has an average ticket price of $190.95 with a get-in price of $53, while the December 31st game against the Thunder has an average ticket price of $203.39 and $16 get-in.
The Suns’ skid has put head coach Jeff Hornacek under the microscope in his third season. Phoenix lost by six to the Milwaukee Bucks on December 20th and the next day lost by 11 points to the Utah Jazz on the road. The team followed that effort with an eight-point home loss the Denver Nuggets and then unfathomably lost to a one-win Philadelphia 76ers at home by seven points, which drew national attention to the team’s current problems. The loss to Philadelphia was followed by a four-point home loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, followed by the news that Bledsoe would miss the remainder of the season.
If any team needs the New Year to come quickly, it’s the Suns. Their first two games in 2016 are against two of the worst teams in the Western Conference—the 12-19 Sacramento Kings and the 5-27 Los Angeles Lakers.