Didn't make the NBA Finals, but made the WCF without their franchise player Amare Stoudamire.
Discovered a budding superstar in Boris Diaw.
Discovered emerging talent in Raja Bell, James Jones and Leo Barbosa.
The future is bright in Phoenix, and next year with a healthy Amare the Suns are the favorites out of the West.
The Mavericks will hold that recognition as long as they are still in the playoffs next season. I do think the West will be stacked next year though. You have San Antonio, Dallas and Phoenix and a notch below, and just as dangerous, the Clippers, Nuggets and Kings.