NBA standings: How the Suns can make the playoffs

Prepare to root for Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash one more time. And for likely the first time, Phoenix Suns fans might find themselves rooting for the Los Angeles Lakers. With Phoenix’s 101-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, the Suns find themselves in a precarious position.

They’re relying on haterade connoisseur Swaggy P.

The Mavericks (49-32) already sit at 49 wins with a game left. They have locked themselves into a playoff spot with tiebreakers over both the Suns and Grizzlies.

Phoenix (47-33) has no tiebreakers in its favor against either Memphis or Dallas at this point, not even if the three squads finish 49-33. The three-way tiebreaker is a combination of wins and losses against the two other teams, and at present, the Suns sit at 1-5 and at best could finish 2-5 with a win against Memphis. The Grizzlies sit at 3-3. And Dallas is 5-1 against Phoenix and Memphis.

There are two scenarios remaining.

Memphis, with a record of 47-32, must lose its final three games of the year.

That, or the Suns must win out while the Grizzlies lose two of three — so obviously one of those losses would need to come Monday against Phoenix. If the Suns beat the Grizzlies and the Sacramento Kings to finish the year, they would close out the regular season with 49 total wins. Then, the possibility of Jeff Hornacek’s squad making the playoffs would require Memphis to fall to the Los Angeles Lakers a day prior to the matchup in Phoenix or after that, to the Mavericks in their final game of the year Wednesday.

The worse bit of news comes in the second scenario.

If the Grizzlies limp into their final game of the year against the Mavs having lost to the Suns after beating the Lakers, Dallas would have locked up the seventh seed already and have little reason to go full-bore against the Grizzlies — remember that the Mavs hold the tiebreaker over Memphis.

Dallas could also be shorthanded with Dirk Nowitzki looking battered toward the end of the game on Saturday.

The odds are against the Suns, but now it’s quite simple. They must win against Memphis on Monday and hope to get some help.

  • EBJM

    I think our enthusiasm for the Suns making it was lost after the last two defeats to the Spurs and Mavs. Grizzlies are basically healthy and playing great ball. I seriously doubt they are going to lose any remaining games. They also will be a nightmare 1st rd match-up for the Spurs.

  • Al

    No…Unfortunately things will most likely not go the Sun’s way. How fitting is it that Phoenix plays LAL, SA, and MAV’s in the last two weeks of the season and loses to all of them? The 3 teams that have been the vain of Sun’s existence since way back deny them once again the opportunity at something special.

    Phoenix will end with the 14th pick. They are now in the same position the Rockets were 3-4 years ago. Luckily, Phoenix has a competent GM just like the Rockets to acquire that superstar.

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  • CarlyJoni

    Yes, Suns have used up their get out of jail cards last week against OKC and Portland. Lakers will not do them any favors, they’ve played their spoiler and are done for the season. The Grizz game at home must be played for pride, if nothing else. And Dallas will go through the motions in Memphis and rest Dirk up. But it was down to the wire tonight, and the Drogon was obviously not in top form, missing uncharacteristic shots. Play these last 2 games to win and cap off a grand season that was totally unexpected.

  • Ughz

    Per the NBA TV channel, Suns are officially eliminated from post season play with today’s loss to the Mavericks. No matter any highly unlikely scenarios.

    All I can say is it was a positive year. Still a lot of work to do for this team and McD will have to figure breaking this nucleus of players is the only logical way.

    You Bled, Bled, Bled. For the ball that touched your index finger. You Bled. For the errant passes at all the wrong times that got picked off. You Bled. For the sorry of your ability to guard a player with less than two minutes to play. You Bled. For the in-season contract extension you turned away. You Bled. For the second surgery to the same knee for the same ailment that prevented you from yet another season not experienced being a starter all the way through. At times, ur lackadasical uninterest showed thru. Yet, you Bled.

    You are the player who i always knew i thought you were.

  • Al

    Eric Bledsoe also missed that FT with less than 2M2go

  • Dan S

    @Ughz Per me telling you, you are a meathead…PHX is NOT officially limited, realistically it looks that way, technically no.

  • Dan S

    @Ughz your spoken word is trash, you want to blame Bledsoe for the Suns loss?? lol He was one of the best players last night, only thing he did wrong was miss that free throw..he hit a ton of others, and can’t make everyone! Ppl should look at Green, Morris and Tucker with his two dud games in a row. Dragic also sucked but you can’t blame the guy with a messed up ankle. More terrific Suns luck with him getting injured at this point!

  • foreveris2long

    Dan S you definitely get it. I do not understand the obsession some fans have with wanting perfection from Bled. The guy turned 24 four months ago and missed 30 plus games with surgery and yet he got a near triple double Friday and came back with another really good game last night. Like most players his age he has a lot of work to do to improve further but he had a good year.

    Anyway, fans like Ughs, you cannot change their minds. He has no idea what Bled was offered during the season and he blames him for not accepting it. He seems totally irrational.

    I think it was a great year, allowing the front office and Coach Horny to be very proud. If the Suns win 48 or 49 games Coach Horny should win Coach of the Year. The Suns will build on this.

  • josedinero

    Bledsoe = 7 turnovers. Markieff Morris taking the final shot? Idiotic. 6 other guys on the team have a better 3pt%.There is no central leader on this team.

    But a healthy Dragic and we win at least one of the last two if not both. Tough breaks but we’re still in it. Never thought I’d root for the Fakers but I am tonight!

  • Cuso

    I think it is about time to start talking about the upcoming draft at this point and what needs to be done to take this team to the next level.

  • sunsn7

    Hey McD???



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