Is it possible to win too much? Fans eyeing the 2014 NBA draft lottery have had to ask that about their teams this season, and none more so than fans of the Phoenix Suns, who have gone from projected West cellar-dwellers to surprising playoff contenders. While Phoenix still could have as many as four first-round choices next June, the Suns' own choice now looks likely to fall in the tail end of the lottery if not outside it entirely.
The real question here is whether Phoenix's future is brighter now than it was when we were penciling it in for a win total in the teens way back in October. For an answer to that, we can use my SCHOENE projection system, which compares the 2014-15 and 2015-16 projections for the Suns' rotation players before the season to updated ones (and incorporates everyone in the rotation exceeding what was projected of them this season). Let's take a look: