The Suns have 17 games remaining on their schedule, yet look quite certain to finish the season exactly where they are right now: in 5th place. (well, right now they're tied for 5th, but the Thunder's occupation will be short-lived)
The Suns' most likely playoff opponent is the Utah Jazz.
Take a look at the remaining schedules for each team (click the link for schedule). Suns, Nuggets and Jazz have the easiest road ahead, while the Mavericks' road is slightly tougher and the Thunder's sked is murder (at least in April, when the opponents are tough and sphincters at the all-time tightest).
The Jazz, Nugs and Mavs all look to finish at about 56-57 wins. The Nuggets have won their season series against the Jazz, and so would finish with a higher seed if their records end up equal. The only way the Suns face the Mavs is if the Dirkies really choke some gimmies between now and the end of the year.
|Suns Remaining Schedule||Thunder Remaining Schedule|
|Fri 12||vs LA Lakers||L||Fri 12||vs New Jersey||W|
|Sun 14||vs New Orleans||W||Sun 14||vs Utah||W|
|Tue 16||vs Minnesota||W||Wed 17||@ Charlotte||L|
|Fri 19||vs Utah||W||Fri 19||@ Toronto||W|
|Sun 21||vs Portland||W||Sun 21||@ Indiana||W|
|Mon 22||@ Golden State||W||Mon 22||vs San Antonio||L|
|Fri 26||vs New York||W||Wed 24||vs Houston||W|
|Sun 28||@ Minnesota||L||Fri 26||vs LA Lakers||L|
|Tue 30||@ Chicago||L||Sun 28||vs Portland||W|
|Wed 31||@ New Jersey||W||Tue 30||@ Philadelphia||W|
|April||Opponent||Wed 31||@ Boston||W|
|Fri 02||@ Detroit||W||April||Opponent|
|Sat 03||@ Milwaukee||W||Sat 03||@ Dallas||L|
|Wed 07||vs San Antonio||W||Sun 04||vs Minnesota||W|
|Fri 09||@ Oklahoma City||W||Tue 06||@ Utah||L|
|Sun 11||vs Houston||W||Wed 07||vs Denver||L|
|Tue 13||vs Denver||L||Fri 09||vs Phoenix||L|
|Wed 14||@ Utah||W||Sun 11||@ Golden State||W|
|Mon 12||@ Portland||L|
|Wed 14||vs Memphis||W|
|Remaining Games||13-4||Remaining Games||11-8|
|Current Record||40-25||Current Record||39-24|
|Final Record||53-29||Final Record||50-32|
All tolled, it looks like the Suns will sit comfortably in the #5 hole (at a likely 53-29), with a 2 or 3 game cushion between them and the teams above and below them.
Just look at that closing sked for the Thunder. Geez. Hate to be them. In fact, they could drop to 7 or 8 seed before it's over. The Blazers and Spurs are too far back to finish any higher than the 6 seed, given the easy finishes by the 1-5 seeds.
Of course, I am assuming of course that no team has a debilitating injury, and that current play is indicative of the future.
So what do you think? Agree, disagree?