After the last decade of missing the playoffs, just making the playoffs would have been a successful season. To be honest making it to the NBA Finals had to be waaay beyond every Suns fan's expectations.
So many good things happened this year for the Suns.
1. Ayton took some HUGE steps forward. He arguably outplayed or at least played even with every big man he faced in the playoffs with the exception of Giannis. The experience he had in the playoffs--and the sting of losing after leading 2-0--should provide a lot of motivation for him to continue to improve.
2. Booker played very well, overall, on the big stage with the bright lights. There is still a lot of improvement he needs to make, but this experience will also be invaluable for him.
3. Monty Williams is a tremendous coach and person. He'll continue to learn as a coach and make adjustments for next year and beyond.
4. James Jones has made some great moves as the GM of the Suns, and I more to shore up their weaknesses and make them even more consistently competitive. This will be crucial because the West is LOADED with great teams.
5. I really don't get all the Chris Paul haters on CB. He made a huge difference for the Suns this year. He helped Booker and Ayton a lot. I don't know if he'll be back next year or not. At this point, despite the significant role he played this year for the Suns, I don't see him as the key to the Suns taking the next step forward. I think the Suns need to play faster than they do when Paul is in the game. It will be interesting to see what the Suns do with Paul in the off-season.
6. Final point. I'm a huge BYU fan so I'm on CB a lot. I really don't get the amount and level of vitriol on CB directed at the Suns and Suns fans. I don't really know what to make of it. Yes the Jazz had key injuries they had to deal with. So did a lot of other teams. The Suns were mostly healthy, and did catch some breaks in terms of injuries to key players on the teams they faced. But they beat every team they faced until the finals. It almost seems like people resent the Suns and feel like they didn't deserve to be in the Finals because of a perceived easier path. Before the playoffs started no one would have traded places with the Suns draw which began with the Lakers, then the Nuggest, then the Clippers. The Suns didn't cause the injuries to AD or Davis or Murray or Leonard. They played the hand they were dealt. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game.
One more thing. If the tables were turned and it was the Jazz in the finals instead of the Suns I would have been cheering for them, despite all the vitriol leveled at the Suns and Suns fans by Jazz fans the past few weeks.