Phoenix Suns are likely to miss out on any return that features less than 30 teams

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

There have been many proposals for an expanded playoff or play-in style format when the NBA returns but the Phoenix Suns are out of contention in almost all of them.

While playoff teams can certainly look forward to a return to play, teams outside of the playoff bubble like the Phoenix Suns may be forced to stay outside of the Disney World bubble.

When the hiatus first hit, it looked like a minor 30-day blip in the schedule, but it quickly morphed into almost certain gloom and the cancellation of at least the entire regular season.

Then a few legit rumors and wild speculations surfaced about a myriad of options of returning to play in Walt Disney World including a variety of 28 and 30 teams options that would give fans a chance to see the Suns at least get a couple more games under their belt.

Now, that hope is fading. ESPN says the idea of hosting all 30 teams is losing momentum and that maybe 20 teams is the way to go.

It is starting to not look good for the Phoenix Suns returning to play.

Well, which 20 teams? One idea would have the 9th and 10th seed in each conference make some kind of play-in bracket, which of course, the Phoenix Suns would not qualify. However, because the Western Conference has teams with better records in this bunch near the bottom, another proposal would take the teams with the 20 best records regardless of conference, and devise some kind of play-in tournament.

That sounds, promising, right? After all, the Suns 26-39 record would pit them 9th in the Eastern Conference.

Well, no.

Who is the 21st team in the league-wide rankings, you ask? Of course, it’s the Phoenix Suns.

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In fact, the only proposal I’ve seen floating around that would include the Suns came from Dallas Mavericks owner governor. His idea would expand the playoffs to 10 teams in each conference but still have every team play (at least) 70 games total.

In this scenario, the Suns would only be 2.5 games out of a playoff spot instead of the six they are now if the traditional format holds.

2.5 games is still a decent amount of ground to make up if the Suns only have five games in which to do it, but it would give them a reason to play.

At this point, though, it sounds like it is all a very fluid conversation. There is nothing that would suggest anything is solidified and even though there is a board of governors meeting on Friday, no final decision is expected to be made.

So just like the last six million weeks of quarantine, all we can do is wait, speculate, and scroll through Tik Tok.

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