PHOENIX SUNS

It’s a crucial week for the Suns in the NBA standings

Feb 15, 2023, 12:43 PM | Updated: Feb 16, 2023, 11:53 am

The Western Conference standings have been stretching out over the past several weeks of play.

On Jan. 27, there were 11 teams — seeded third through 13th — within five games of one another. There are now seven games separating the No. 2 seed through the No. 12 seed. Not included in that group is the Los Angeles Lakers, who have tumbled two whole games back from the 12th-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Memphis Grizzlies are now five games behind the conference-leading Denver Nuggets and just 3.5 ahead of the No. 4 Phoenix Suns.

It’ll be a wild fight for playoff seeding.

For the 32-27 Suns, adding Kevin Durant after the NBA All-Star break and getting a healthy Devin Booker back before it has changed the picture. But Phoenix has already done some good work to get a leg up on tiebreakers against a number of Western Conference teams.

Phoenix is in fourth place in the conference as of Wednesday and just beat the No. 3 Sacramento Kings before facing the No. 5 Los Angeles Clippers to close out the pre-All-Star schedule on Thursday.

As of Wednesday, Phoenix owns the tiebreaker with eight of the 11 opponents we’ll consider — we left out Denver up top, plus San Antonio and Houston in the cellar. Only one of those, a tiebreaker again Golden State, is locked in through the rest of the year.

On the other side of things, the Suns have locked in a lower seed in a tiebreaking event against the Portland Trail Blazers, but the implications from this are not concerning for the Suns at present with the squads 3.5 games apart.

There remains a lot to play out.

The Suns, however, have crept up the NBA standings since our first iteration of this exercise. For now, let’s take a look at the tiebreakers between the Suns and opponents in the hunt for playoff positioning.

Phoenix Suns tiebreaker tracker

No. 2 seed – Memphis Grizzlies (34-22)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Grizzlies

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-2 with no games left

Second tiebreaker – Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division: Memphis has a 4.5-game lead on the Dallas Mavericks atop the Southwest Division, while Phoenix is currently one game behind Sacramento.


No. 3 seed – Sacramento Kings (32-25)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-0 with two games left (March 11, March 24)


No. 5 seed – Los Angeles Clippers (32-28)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-0 with two games left (Feb. 16, season finale on April 9)


No. 6 seed – Dallas Mavericks (31-28)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Mavericks

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 1-2 with one game left (March 5)


No. 7 seed – New Orleans Pelicans (30-28)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-2 with no games left

Second tiebreaker – Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division: Not applicable

Third tiebreaker – Division won-lost percentage for teams in the same division: Not applicable

Fourth tiebreaker – Conference won-lost percentage: The Suns at 21-14 (.600) have a slim advantage over Pelicans’ 19-14 (.576) record.


No. 8 seed – Minnesota Timberwolves (31-29)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-1 with one game left (March 29)


No. 9 seed – Golden State Warriors (29-29)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns — LOCKED

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 3-0 with one game left (March 13)


No. 10 seed – Utah Jazz (29-30)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 1-1 with one game left (March 27)

Second tiebreaker – Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division: Not applicable

Third tiebreaker – Division won-lost percentage for teams in the same division: Not applicable

Fourth tiebreaker – Conference won-lost percentage: The Suns at 21-14 (.600) have an advantage over Utah’s 19-17 (.528) record.


No. 11 seed – Portland Trail Blazers (28-30)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Trail Blazers — LOCKED

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 1-2 with no games left


No. 12 seed – Oklahoma City Thunder (27-29)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: The teams have yet to begin a four-game season series (Feb. 24, March 8, March 19, April 2)

Second tiebreaker – Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division: Not applicable

Third tiebreaker – Division won-lost percentage for teams in the same division: Not applicable

Fourth tiebreaker – Conference won-lost percentage: The Suns at 21-14 (.600) have an advantage over the Thunder’s 14-17 (.452) mark.


No. 13 seed – Los Angeles Lakers (26-32)

Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns

First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-0 with two games left (March 22, April 7)

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It’s a crucial week for the Suns in the NBA standings