Predicted to finish with less than 20 wins, the Suns have exceeded that total and are knocking on the postseason door.
They’ll need to slam it in at least one team’s face to get in, as the Suns are trailing Golden State, Memphis and Dallas for one of the final three playoff spots out West.
We’ll be keeping tabs on all those teams as they make their final push of the season, one that could see the Suns play beyond their April 16 regular season finale.
9th - PHOENIX
Last game: 101-98 loss at Dallas
Next game: Monday vs. Memphis
Analysis: Late-game let-ups have put the Suns’ playoff chances in danger. Saturday’s defeat left Phoenix on the outside looking in, and now they no longer control their own destiny.
Pheonix needs to win their remaining two games (Memphis, Sacramento) and for the Grizzlies to lose theirs (Phoenix, Dallas) in order to make the postseason.
Aside from correcting their recent fourth-quarter trend, they will also need to beat two teams against which Phoenix has a combined record of 1-5 this season.
8th – MEMPHIS
Compared to Suns: Ahead by 1.0 games
Tiebreaker: Memphis leads 3-0, one game remaining (April 14)
Last game: 102-90 win at L.A. Lakers
Next game: Monday at Phoenix
Analysis: The Grizzlies have taken care of business down the stretch beating the Heat, Sixers and Lakers to put themselves in control of the race for the final playoff spot.
Their last two games, however, are not guaranteed wins. They must beat a desperate Suns team in Phoenix and then overcome a Mavericks team against which they are 0-3 this season.
7th – DALLAS
Compared to Suns: Ahead by 1.5 games
Head-to-Head Tiebreaker: DAL, 2-1
Last game: 101-98 vs. Phoenix
Next game: Wednesday at Memphis
Analysis: The Mavericks dealt a severe blow to the Suns’ playoff hopes by erasing a 13-point, second-half defecit that 1) clinched their own playoff berth and 2) forced Phoenix to need help from Memphis to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Ironically, Dallas could still play a large part in the Suns’ fate. If Phoenix beats the Grizzlies on Monday, they will need the Mavericks – who are already playoff-bound – to beat Memphis as well if they want to extend their season.
The Mavericks are 3-0 against the Grizzlies this season.