With 16 games left on their schedule and with 5 days of rest under their belts The Suns are about to embark on their final push for the highest possible seed. A realistic look tells us that a fourth seed is about the best the team could hope to achieve.
The top six teams are all winning at well above a 60% rate. Barring any sort of collapse by the Utah Jazz and assuming they maintain their present winning percentage, The Jazz will win 54 or 55 games. To have a chance at a fourth seed, the Suns will have to win at least 15 of their final 16 and probably will have to win out because the Jazz have the tie break.
Could the Jazz stumble? Sure, it could happen. Is it likely? I think not. The Jazz are playing really well and they are relatively healthy. They appear to have a fair chance to catch Denver and finish as the third seed.
What would it cost the Suns in terms of energy and physical breakdown to try and win their last 16 games? Is this even any sort of realistic goal? Is there any team in any sport that could actually function under that load of pressure?
We all do our best when we play or work 'in the moment'. So called 'clutch players or teams' are simply those who perform to their usual standard in pressure situations. (Bill Ellias has proven this in baseball).
I hope that the Suns will simply approach each of their last 16 games just like they have approached every game since the All Star break. There is no "must win 16 in a row" pressure on this team. If Denver or Utah suddenly shift into reverse and come back below the Suns, we'll take it.
Hopefully, The Suns can enter the playoffs in a relaxed and healthy state. So often in the past, the team has gone into the post season physically spent and injured.