Our Hometown Heroes in purple and orange have 20 games left in the 2009-10 season, and in the current standings would make the playoffs with the 5th seed.  But in the Western Conference, you don’t even need to play a game to change your position in the standings so while this is up-to-date as of 9:00am on March 3, this is likely to change nearly every day. But I thought it might be fun to look at the top 8 teams in the West and who you would rather face in the first round.
In order of rankings, here are your choices:

Team Dan Hilton Daniel Banks

Lakers
#1, 46-15
Most of the games should be in primetime because it’s the Lakers… only problem is, we would have to play the Lakers.

Key player: Jared Dudley averages 14 points against the Lakers.  His season average is 8.

The showcase matchup in the NBA against arguably our biggest rival. We’ll get to see replays of the 2006 series. Octagon anyone?

The Lakers are tough and with Artest on the floor you never know what could happen. It’s like West Side Story meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.


Mavericks
#2, 41-21
We get to see Steve Nash play his former team.  But we’ll have to read a bunch of stories over and over and over again about how Steve Nash is playing his former team.

Key player:  Richardson averages 20.3 points against Dallas.  When he scores more than 20 points in a game, the Suns are 18-3.

We’ve seen this team nosedive in the postseason before. Will Dirk pull another Greg Norman?  On the other hand, we’ll have to see this:


Nuggets
#3, 40-21
We have already beat the Nuggets twice and they haven’t won on our home court since before Steve Nash came back to the Suns.  But Denver is a really good team and one of the times we beat them, it was without Carmelo Anthony.

Key player:  Steve Nash averages 18.7 points and 9 assists against Denver.

Denver traditionally gets hot in the second half of the season and cruises into the playoffs ready to do some damage. They are dangerous, and not just because of Chris Anderson’s hair.

Jazz
#4, 38-22
We have only played the Jazz once this season and lost by 9 so we’re not exactly sure what we are getting with them; they have one of the loudest home crowds in the league.

Key player:  In his one game against Utah this season, Goran Dragic scored 32 points.

The Utah Jazz have a personality disorder. At home they are a formidable team, but when they go on the road they turn into a very beatable squad. If we get the home court advantage, we have them right where we want them (away from EnergySolutions Arena).


Thunder
#6, 36-24

Maybe they’re just happy to make the playoffs and won’t try that hard once they get there?  Then again, Kevin Durant is averaging 37 points against us this season.

Key player:  Amar’e Stoudemire averages 32.5 points and 11.5 rebounds against Oklahoma City.

Youth is a double edged sword – when the pressure of the playoffs in upon them, will their power players perform? Perhaps.


Spurs
#7, 34-24

It’s the Spurs.  Somehow, we always seem to find a way to lose to the Spurs in the playoffs.  We have lost four straight playoff series to them.

Key Player: STAT averages 34.5 points and 13 rebounds against San Antonio.

The Spurs are struggling this season and needed a rare missed dunk to beat us in their house. The big bad Spurs aren’t so scary anymore.


Blazers
#8, 37-27

They’re currently the 8th seed and we have a better record than they do.  Then again, we have played them twice this season and lost both times.

Key Player:  Grant Hill averages 15.5 points and 2.5 steals against Portland.

Unfortunately, the Blazers have more wheelchairs than wins this season. They have been decimated by injuries and have outperformed expectations. That kind of play has an expiration date.

Who do you want to face? Tell us in the comments why we’re wrong.

  • http://missjulze.posterous.com MissJulze

    teams to avoid – Lakers, Dallas, Jazz

    I wouldnt for once mind seeing Spurs in the playoffs this time around. I feel like we really, really are much better than they are this season around. it should be time to break the curse. it would feeel OH SO GOOD to send them home fishing.

    Another team I think we should definitely beat in first round would be OKC, as talented as Durant and Westbrook are, our vets should easily edge them out and we should have homecourt against them.

  • http://whodowevotefor.blogspot.com Luis Lascari

    I want to see the Suns play the Spurs. The reason they have an edge is because people like you always believe they’ll somehow beat us.

    I say, if we beat them, there’s not a lot of teams we can’t take down.

    Lakers will lose if they place Dallas, btw.

  • Jacob Padilla

    I resent the comment about “hometown heroes.” I live, and always have lived in Omaha, NE, not Phoenix Arizona. Yet I am still a major Suns fan. These articles need to be written for a more universal audience.

  • Joe Key

    For me, id want to see either OKC or Portland in the first round, while avoiding Utah and SA. Both OKC and Portland are good, but lack post season experience. They both might be “young” and athletic, but the Suns have more experience than the both of them.

    Utah and SA are the types of teams who really step up in the playoffs. So id be more worried about them. I DONT want to go against SA, i dont care how much better the Suns are right now, the Suns have never beat them in the playoffs and dont think that would happen this time either.

    Ideally, SA would play bad the rest of the season, and fall to #8 seed. If anyone could upset the Lakers in the first round, it would be SA. Saying this doesnt make me a SA fan, id just like for our rivals to face each other, then the Suns dont have to deal with both teams in the post season.

    My perfect matchups would be Lakers vs Spurs, Nuggets vs Jazz, Suns vs OKC, and Mavs vs Portland (no specific reason).

  • Lisa J

    I say Spurs ~ let’s exorcize those demons. Besides, without Horrible Horry and Bowen, they’re nearly tissue soft now.

  • LBJisawsome

    The Phoenix Suns oh the Phoenix Suns a really good team that can’t pull it together sometimes!If we are talking play-off wise the Suns will probley get the 5th seed here are some things I can tell you! I think that the Phoenix Suns should avoid the Las Angles Lakers the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks. I think it would be O.K. if we faced the OKC Thunder the Denver Nuggets(Just because I saw us beat them all the time)and the San Antoino Spurs. Yet we will never get into the 1st or 2nd or 3rd unless there’s a thing that happens to Kobe Bryant or Dirk N. or Carmelo Anthony. If something happens to Steve Nash or A’mare S. Were not that screwed but if they both get hurt we are.thx for Reading!!!

  • João Luiz

    hello everybody!
    i´m a brazilian fan of phoenix and i´m loving the game that our team are playing, so i think that phoenix have to avoid
    lakers, jazz and dallas for now!
    We have to send back to home spurs, Phoenix is much better this season..we have to play well against them and after take lakers and simply destroy them!

  • FreiGuy

    Id like the Spurs in the 1st round for a few reasons.
    1) Get that monkey off our back in the first round. It would be great for the suns to draw (and defeat) the spurs first. They have to exorcise the demon of them sometime, and the first round is the plac eto start. It would give them confidence going into the second round.
    2) Another reason being (as mentioned before) the spurs are not the same team they have been for the past few years. They are still noone to take lightly however.