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The NBA Story Lines Beneath the Surface: Pacific Division

Basketball is very good. This long hiatus is … not. If there’s a small silver lining, it’s that the break provides time to dig beneath the surface and explore each team’s core identity, whether the games are played in front of cardboard cutouts of fans at Disney World or not. We’ll be looking at the overlooked story line for each team, division by division, over the next few weeks. Let’s start in the Pacific: Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton is skipping simple Phoenix’s rise to respectability has been one of the more encouraging subplots of the season. Ricky Rubio provided stability at the point, and the much-maligned draft day decisions of acquiring veteran big man Aron Baynes and trading back to select then-23-year-old Cameron Johnson have raised the team’s floor significantly.

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