Do the Phoenix Suns Still Have a Chance?

Bill AnterlineContributor IApril 4, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 15:  Steve Nash #13 and Shaquille O'Neal #32 of the Phoenix Suns look on against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game on March 15, 2009 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

April 4, 2009


Everyone has been talking about whether the Phoenix Suns are going to make it past the Dallas Mavericks in time for the playoffs.  Many people are even saying that if Phoenix was going to do it, they would have already closed the gap between them and the eighth seat.

Although this might be true, Phoenix is not down and out just yet.  With the Mavericks losing their last game to Memphis, and the Suns coming off of a two-win streak, the answer to everyone's question will be given after the next game.

The next game I am talking about, of course, is Phoenix vs. Dallas tomorrow.  Right now, Phoenix is three games behind Dallas, but with a win for Phoenix tomorrow, they will only be two games behind and a drastic difference in schedules takes place for both teams once the game is over.

Phoenix has had a much harder schedule of late, compared to Dallas, but after these two teams meet tomorrow that will change.  Phoenix only has to play one more ranked team, the New Orleans Hornets, and then four sub-.500 teams, including Memphis (twice), Minnesota, and Golden State.

Dallas on the other hand, plays four games against ranked teams (Utah, New Orleans twice, and Houston) while playing one game against a sub-.500 team, Minnesota.

As long as Phoenix beats Dallas, it will only take the Suns two more wins than Dallas in the last five games of the season and they will have stolen the eighth seat. 

And, yes, I know that that actually ties Phoenix and Dallas for eighth place, but looking at the statistics, Phoenix has the tie breaker.

So, the answer can not be given yet as to whether the Suns can do it.  Tomorrow is judgment day.  If the Suns can manage a win tomorrow in their away game vs. the Mavericks, their odds of getting the last seat in the playoffs will lot a lot better.

The contest will be aired on ABC tomorrow afternoon (April 5, 2009).  Good luck, Phoenix!