Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Current Record 26-26
Current Seed: 10th in West
Don't count Steve Nash and the aging Phoenix Suns out of one last playoff run just yet, because after going 11-6 against some extremely difficult teams in March, the team is just two games out of the eighth seed, and 3.5 games out of the fifth seed. Steve Nash has been his usual great self, and playing second fiddle is Marcin Gortat, who is having a breakout year, averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds a game.
After that, the team doesn't possess much talent, but having Nash is enough to keep them at a .500 record. Even with their recent hot streak, there are a few obstacles that the Suns could face before they are a playoff team.
First and foremost is the insanely hard schedule they face for the rest of the season. In their last 14 games of the season, 11 of those games are against above-.500 teams. The Suns are a decent 13-19 against winning teams, but that won't get them into the playoffs.
Also, this entire team is led by Steve Nash. Nash is the motor of the team, and without him they are almost talentless. The Suns are going to need the 38-year-old to maintain his current level of play. But that might be a problem. The condensed schedule may tire him, and as his 2010-2011 stats show, he is not indefatigable.
Last year, he averaged just 10 points and shot just 40 percent from the field post-All-Star break. This year, Nash is averaging 10.4 points post All-Star break. His three point shooting has dipped to 35 percent as well, but he is still connecting on field goals.
If he can lead the Suns to the playoffs just off of passing, it would be great, but if the team needs him to shoot late in games and he can't connect, then the Suns aren't going anywhere.
Finally, is the recent injury to Grant Hill. The veteran will most likely miss the remainder of the season, which is unfortunate as he is a big defender for them and also provides the locker room with veteran leadership and experience.
The Suns have gained a lot of momentum recently. They have such a tough schedule, but because they are only a few games behind five or six different teams, all they need is to hope one team goes through a rough patch. If that happens and Nash is able to keep going strong till the end of the season, the Suns should have no problem taking a playoff spot.
Chance of Making the Playoffs: 50 percent