A tanker’s delight: a look ahead at the Suns’ remaining schedule

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Devin Booker
OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Devin Booker /

The Suns schedule the rest of the way is TOUGH.

About half of their remaining games are against current playoff teams. Along with that, almost every team they play down the stretch is in the race for a playoff spot. So, if you like ping pong balls, this is a dream. If you like wins, it’s a nightmare.

The Phoenix Suns are, as of this writing, 18-41 and have a great shot at finishing with the worst record in the NBA. At this point in the current rebuild, that’s all we can hope for as Suns fans. Having a shot to draft Deandre Ayton or Luka Doncic at number one could finally be the move that gets the Suns back to relevancy.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

But, in order for this to happen, the Suns are going to have to lose some games. There are seven (SEVEN!!) teams within one game of the number one spot. That equals a whole lot of tanking. Luckily, or unluckily, the Suns have arguably the toughest schedule out of the seven teams.

As you can see, the Suns get Golden State three more times, Utah once more, they haven’t played Cleveland yet, and there are still two games against Westbrook and co. They also have one more game against both Boston and Houston, two behemoths.

That’s 11 games the Suns have to play against five title contenders and a team who’s on a 10-game winning streak. You can probably pencil in about 10 losses.

Then there’s the rest of the games. The Suns have to play both the new-look Clippers and Anthony Davis twice. Who thinks the Suns have any shot at slowing down Davis? There are potentially three losses here.

Despite what I’ve been saying, there are winnable games on the schedule. The Suns are bad, but they have talent. More talent that the Mavericks, Atlanta, Orlando and Sacramento, who are all on the schedule. The Suns can win all four of those games, but look out for some knee soreness from Devin Booker. They probably go 3-1 here.

Finally, there are the other games. These are the teams who are better than the Suns, but could still be competitive. All one game, the Suns play Miami, Portland, Charlotte, Detroit and Memphis. These could all be close, but I would be expect the Suns to win 2, depending on health.

Next: Even with Elfrid Payton, Devin Booker still needs run at point guard

So, with a ridiculous schedule to end the season, I have the Suns finishing around 25 wins. That puts them right in prime lottery position, but shows they put in effort down the stretch. That’s all I would want to see. If we can see these young Suns progress, and then add the number one pick, watch out.