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Suns eye NBA’s No. 1 seed as gauntlet of East Coast road trip begins

Jae Crowder #99 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA game at Phoenix Suns Arena on February 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bucks 125-124. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In a little over a month’s time, the Phoenix Suns will do something they haven’t done in 10 years: make the playoffs.

But which seed the Suns will be in the Western Conference is still yet to be determined.

At 40-16, Phoenix has 16 games remaining in the regular season, 12 of which are on the road.

The Suns currently sit as the No. 2 seed in the West, sandwiched between the Utah Jazz’s league-best 42-15 record and the No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers at 40-19.

And after NBA.com broke down the upcoming East Coast road trip, you’ll realize the gauntlet that Phoenix is about to embark on heading into the postseason.

The Suns have, by a healthy margin, the toughest remaining schedule within this group. They also have the league’s most road-heavy remaining schedule, with 12 of their (16) games on the road. On Monday, they begin a five-game trip in which they’ll face five of the top six teams in the East, including the Bucks, Sixers and Nets. Only the Jazz (10.6) and Warriors (8.9) have bigger home-road differentials in regard to point differential per 100 possessions than the Suns, who have been 5.6 per 100 better at home (+9.7) than they have been on the road (+4.1).

The season series between the top three teams in the West have already been decided, with Phoenix going 2-0 against Utah and 0-2 against LA.

The Suns will play both teams just one more time this season when they host the Clippers and Jazz on April 28 and 30, respectively.

And because Phoenix trails Utah by only one game in the loss column with a meeting between the two teams still to come, the Suns technically control their own destiny for the No. 1 seed in the West.

That could also possibly result in home-court advantage in the NBA Finals should the team with the league’s best regular-season record make it to the ultimate series.

The Suns begin their five-game road trip on Monday against the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. Arizona time. Catch all the action on ESPN 620 AM.


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