What are the odds of the Phoenix Suns making playoffs, play-in game?
Seven wins in seven games, and the Phoenix Suns remain in the mix to earn a play-in spot with their strong bubble showing.
It won’t be easy. The Portland Trail Blazers (against the Brooklyn Nets) or Memphis Grizzlies (against the Milwaukee Bucks) will need to lose on Thursday in addition to a Suns victory against the Dallas Mavericks. The San Antonio Spurs also could make a play-in, but they won’t impact the Suns’ chances.
As teams tinker and/or rest for the playoffs, added volatility will become involved in all of those games.
Reminder: The eighth seed will need to beat the ninth in a play-in tournament if the teams are within 4.0 games of one another at the end of the seeding games. For the eighth seed, it’s a double-elimination format, meaning it would have to lose twice in two games to the No. 9 seed to lose its playoff positioning.
All four teams in the race for the final playoff spot and a first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers are in action Thursday. Here’s a look at the standings and below is what chances several analytical models are giving the Suns.
• Finish eighth in 8% of simulations
• Finish ninth in 21% of simulations
• Reach playoffs in 13% of simulations
The Suns could still win their eighth bubble game in a row and miss the postseason, which highlights the long odds they’ve already surpassed to get to this point. Pelton points out that there’s a good chance Phoenix can beat the Mavericks, who might rest stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis with little to play for Thursday.
• Trail Blazers (8) vs. Suns (9) as the play-in matchup — 22%
• Suns (8) vs. Trail Blazers (9) as the play-in matchup — 9%
• Grizzlies (8) vs. Suns (9) as the play-in matchup — 8%
• Suns (8) vs. Spurs (9) as the play-in matchup — 5%
• Suns playoff chances — 25%
Phoenix shows up in 44% of the scenarios here. Not too shabby.
FiveThirtyEight has only playoff odds, and the Suns have a 12% chance at making it by their simulations. Notably, that’s more likely than the Grizzlies’ odds at 5%.