Who could Suns face in the playoffs? Play-in field could clear up Tuesday
The Phoenix Suns locked down the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but the list of teams they could face in the first round as of Tuesday morning was seven.
By Tuesday night, there is the possibility that could reduce down to five before it eventually reaches the four teams that would take the NBA into the play-in rounds of the postseason.
Phoenix fans are probably aware of the first piece to this puzzle: The 11th-place Los Angeles Lakers will be eliminated from play-in contention if they fall to the Suns and the 10th-place San Antonio Spurs defeat the Denver Nuggets.
But if San Antonio loses, the top-end of the play-in teams in the 7-10 seeds could lock in on Tuesday night.
The fifth-place Nuggets and sixth-place Utah Jazz can avoid the play-in tournament with individual wins plus a loss by the No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves. If Denver and Utah both win and the T-Wolves lose to the Washington Wizards, then Minnesota will be out of chances to avoid the play-in round.
The Clippers, who are on an island in eighth place, have already secured that No. 8 seed.
In ninth place, the New Orleans Pelicans face the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday and will secure a play-in berth with either a win or a Lakers loss.
NBA standings – Only potential first-round opponents for the Phoenix Suns
New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers