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Latest on Suns playoff picture: ALL THE MUD

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With three games to go in the regular season, the Suns could face any of five different teams in round one

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angelus Lakers at the Staples Center Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Are you worried about the Suns ability to win a playoff series now?

If you are worried more today than you were a week ago, is that because it looks like the Suns first round opponent is going to be the finally-healthy defending champion Lakers? Or because the Suns have suddenly started looking lost and overwhelmed by the moment?

Either way, the Suns are reeling on the court right now and could really use an easy first round opponent to get their playoff legs under them. Unfortunately, that might not happen.

State of 2nd Seed

The Suns still have the second best record in the entire league. No one wins all their games, so it’s probably more okay than you think that the Suns have hit a bit of a lull when they’re fairly locked in to their current seed.

The Suns can almost certainly kiss the top seed goodbye. The Utah Jazz have a two-game lead on the Suns with three games to play, and Utah’s schedule is sooooofffft: they host Portland tonight, then the lowly Thunder and Kings over the weekend. They ain’t losing 2 or 3 of those games.

The Suns are pretty well locked in to the 2nd seed, but nothing is guaranteed yet. They have a 2-game lead with 3 games to go, but they have lost the season series to both the Clippers (3rd) and Nuggets (4th), so if the Suns lose their remaining games they could lose their 2nd seed as well. Those teams only have to tie the Suns record to end up with a higher seed.

If the Clippers (@Hornets, @Rockets, @Thunder) win two more games than the Suns in their last three — which is entirely possible given their cake schedule — the Clips will win the 2nd seed and the right to probably face the 7th seed Lakers... unless they rest a ton of players on the final day to tank the game for an easier opponent.

If the Nuggets win all their remaining games (@Wolves, @Pistons, @Blazers) they could overtake the Suns for 2nd seed if the Suns lose out. Depending on how the next few days shake out, that Blazers game on Sunday will be... interesting. The Blazers right now can finish anywhere from 5th to 7th. And like the Clippers, the Nuggets might want an easier opponent than a healthy Lakers team.

The only guarantee right now is that the Suns cannot drop any lower than 4th, so they have guaranteed a home court advantage for at least one round. And if you’re a cynical one, you might be more interested in facing the Blazers or Mavericks anyway.

However, don’t get too schemey on where you WANT the Suns to finish, based on their potential first round opponent. The Blazers, Mavericks and Lakers can still finish anywhere from 5th seed to 7th seed!

State of the 7th seed

Oh what a mishmash.

Right now, with only three games to go in the regular season, it is quite possible the Suns will face any of the Blazers, Mavericks, Lakers, Warriors or Grizzlies in the first round!

Only one game separates the Lakers (Rockets, @Pacers, @Pelicans), Mavericks (Pelicans, Raptors, @Wolves) and Blazers (@Jazz, @Suns, Nuggets) with three games to go.

And whoever ends up with the 7th seed has no choice but to play the 8th seed — which can be either the Warriors or Grizzlies — in a one-game-winner-takes-7th play-in!

One game decides the 7th seed. Oh and guess what: one game probably decides the 8th seed heading into the play-in too.

The Warriors (Pelicans, Grizzlies) and Grizzlies (Kings, Kings, Warriors) unbelievably face off on the season’s final day with the 8th seed probably on the line in a one-game-winner-takes-eighth game. That seed is short-lived. Win the first play-in and you get 7th. Lose and you have to beat the 9-10 winner to keep 8th and play the Utah Jazz.

Clear as mud.


After reading all this, who do YOU think the Suns will play in round one?

Poll

Who will the Suns play?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Grizzlies
    (9 votes)
  • 9%
    Mavericks
    (50 votes)
  • 13%
    Warriors
    (69 votes)
  • 59%
    Lakers
    (300 votes)
  • 14%
    Blazers
    (75 votes)
503 votes total Vote Now