Phoenix Suns Daily Playoff Picture: Movin' On Up!

Gortat DID wrestle that 9th seed away from Utah and stuffed it in their grill!Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Are you not entertained!?!??!

The Phoenix Suns are on a roll, going 16-7 in their last 23 games and facing their playoff competition every night through the end of the season. The Suns control their destiny. If they win most of their remaining games, the playoffs will be theirs. And Suns fans can start debating the merits of each potential opponent.

After beating the Utah Jazz last night, the Suns are in 9th place in the West, only ONE game behind the 7th and 8th seeds (Denver and Houston). Plus, the Suns are only 2.5 games back of Memphis and Dallas, who are currently tied for 5th. Any of those last 4 seeds are reachable. Remember that the Suns were 2.5 games back of 8th just a few days ago.

First things first: Denver and Houston.

The Suns play Denver twice more this season - once in Denver on Friday night, and once more in Phoenix in a couple weeks. They also play Houston once more, in Houston.

If the Suns beat Denver on Friday night and the Rockets lose to the Lakers, the Suns will be in ...

drum roll please ...

7th place!

9th place... tied with Denver and Houston, but currently losing the first tiebreak with them).

But hey, only one more Suns win and Denver and Houston losses from 7th!

(you can take brian13 for bursting my morning bubble on the 7th place idea)

Hit the jump for the standings and some more analysis on each team's upcoming schedule.

Standings_medium

Check out these current standings, folks, and enjoy them while for a minute. Take a deep breath and appreciate the Suns in 9th place in the West.

Because in a mere two days, the Suns might very well jump all the way to 7th, if they beat Denver and Houston loses to LA Lakers on Friday night.

Now a look at remaining schedules:

Six of the Suns' last 12 games are on the road, with toughies in that 12 including two against Denver, two against San Antonio, plus the Jazz, Lakers, Wolves, Grizz, Dragons, Clips and Thunder. The only "easy" game in their last 12 is against the tanking Blazers. A gauntlet, for sure. The Suns HAVE to win more than half of these games and hope someone ahead of them falls on their face in turn.

10th-place Utah's upcoming sked gets tough: two Spurs games, plus Suns, Rockets, Grizz and Mavs among their final 12.

The next biggest obstacle to the Suns' playoff hopes are the Houston Dragons. They play at the LA Lakers on Friday as part of seven of their final 12 games on the road. Toughies include @Lakers, Jazz, Suns, home-and-home against the Nuggs, @Dallas and @Miami. The Suns basically need Houston to lose two more of those toughies than the Suns.

Denver is also a team the Suns could catch. Six of their last 12 are on the road, after losing to New Orleans last night. Toughies among their final 12 include home-and-home against the Suns, home-and-home against the Dragons, home-and-home against the Wolves, plus Lakers, Clips, Magic and OKC. That's a tough schedule.

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