Sports

A super turnaround and 48-win season make Suns 'best team not to make playoffs'

Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye laces up his shoe in the locker room after an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Monday, April 14, 2014, in Phoenix. The Grizzlies won 97-91 eliminating the Suns from the playoffs. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye laces up his shoe in the locker room after an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Monday, April 14, 2014, in Phoenix. The Grizzlies won 97-91 eliminating the Suns from the playoffs. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (The Associated Press)

The Phoenix Suns are the "best team not to make the playoffs."

That's the title first-year coach Jeff Hornacek bestowed on his overachieving squad after it finished a remarkable turnaround season. But despite 48 wins, the Suns are staying home when the real fun begins.

They've tied a record of sorts.

In the NBA's 16-team playoff era, only one other 48-win team didn't make the postseason — the 2007-08 Golden State Warriors.

It's a frustrating situation because of the decidedly Western power tilt in the NBA. If Phoenix was in the Eastern Conference, it would be tied for the third-best record with Toronto and Chicago. The Suns won 10 more games than the East's No. 8 seed, Atlanta.