FanPost

Which Western Conf team best to meet in the 1st?

With 16 games to go, now is the time to start guessing and thinking:

[1] Who will the SUNS face?
[2] Who would be the easiest victim?

Hawk42 is tracking the current standings and Hollinger has a prediction model (that is completely outdated by the trades).

Still, why not make a guess, knowing full well that with 16 games to go and only 2.5 games separating the top 7 spots your guess is a complete wild-goose crapshoot!

Assuming the SUNS make your projected playoff cut, the the more interesting question is to think: what is your dreamland first round scenario?

All the teams are dangerous, so choose your poison. Which matchups, if any, best suits the SUNS for success?

As someone who wants his team to win, I'm thinking Dallas right now. I think they're dysfunctional enough to be beaten by anyone. They have meltdown king, Dirky Hasselhoff. Status: They've won 5 games by smoking leastern conference teams by wide margin. They face Boston, Lakers (No Gasol) and the slumping Spurs this week.

As a pure fan, I would like to see the SUNS play (and beat) the Hornets in the first round, the Lakers at full strength in the second, the Spurs in the WC finals and then Pistons or Celtics in the finals.

BTW, we take suggestions from any Lakers, Spurs, Nugs, or other team's homers who are lurking on this board.

My forecast: We will end the season in 3rd place. We will play the Lakers in the first round.

[Update by TexSUN 1:52PT]: This is a popular topic today. BSotS was featured on Yahoo's excellent Ball Don't Lie blog earlier today with this very discussion. What I sent them got edited a bit for length, so I'm including the unedited version after the jump.

The question was: Which team would you most like to see in the first round if the playoffs started today, and which team would you most like to avoid?

A week ago, I would probably have picked the Yao-less Rockets hands down as the lesser of seven evils (OK, I did do that). But then there's that whole 22-game winning streak thing, and the fact the Suns have yet to face the Rockets since trading Shawn Marion for Shaq. There are no "cupcakes" in the West this season. So, in light of this, I think you can make an argument for just about any team being the preferred matchup for one crazy reason or the other:

Most satisfying high risk/high reward possibility: The Spurs - How sweet would it be for Suns fans if we could finally knock these guys off?

Most familiar venue: The Lakers - This would be the third season in a row if these two teams to met in the first round.

Most entertaining matchup: The Warriors - We could see a 300-point game between these two teams.

Most inexperienced opponent: The Hornets and the Rockets - If you're banking on the "have to earn your dues" theory, these are the teams you want.

Best grudge-match: The Mavericks - Steve Nash vs. Mark Cuban Part 3 with a couple of new twists.

Best home court advantage: The Jazz - Although they did beat the Suns on the road recently.

All that said--and with full knowledge I may look like a fool a week from now--I'm sticking with my pick for the Rockets. Even with the acquisition of Shaq, and the breakout of Amare Stoudemire, the Suns still rely so much on Steve Nash, that I'm partial to matchups that favor the Suns at the point guard spot. Also, without Yao, the Suns should rule the paint, and Raja Bell should be able to pester Tracy McGrady. Here's hoping I didn't just put the mother of all jinxes on my team when they face the Rockets this coming Saturday.

As for who I'd least like to see? The Lakers. Forget about the fact they're a popular pick to win it all, and that they mostly "owned" the Suns in the regular season. Starting the playoffs against the same team three seasons in a row is simply too monotonous.