At 23-51, Suns fans probably feel like the playoff picture doesn’t much apply to their team.
For fans of other franchises in similar predicaments that may be true, but for fans in the Valley the next two weeks and the playoff picture may mean more to us than to the fan bases of the teams actually involved.
It sounds a little crazy to say – or is that type – out loud, but over the next 16 nights Suns fans might need to root even harder for the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz than their hometown team. OK, so Suns fans might not have to go that far, but they should at least be in favor of usual foes becoming friends for the remainder of the season.
Although it may seem stranger than a Lady Gaga music video, the reasoning is simple. If one of those two teams take the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Suns will get a second lottery pick in the form of the Los Angeles Lakers first round selection. If LA sneaks into the playoffs, then the Suns would receive the Miami Heat’s 2013 first round pick, which is not nearly as appealing of an option seeing as it’ll come much later in the round.
As the future of the franchise comes into focus this summer, having an additional lottery pick – as a result of the Steve Nash trade – would be a huge step in the right direction. It’d also be fitting that the point guard would give one last assist to his former franchise.
Having two of the top 14 players coming out of college this season could help bolster a roster that is young but in need of a real scoring punch. Plus, it ups the team’s chances of landing the No. 1 pick overall – something the franchise has never had in its chase for a championship.
Will this be a tough thing for fans? Probably not, because rooting for whoever is playing the Lakers has been a time-honored tradition for the Phoenix faithful. What will be odd is rooting for a team’s playoff life that isn’t the Suns. If this team can get a second lottery pick in the fold, it will go a long way to helping insure it won’t have to face that dilemma again in the future.
Even in a season that doesn’t hold much intrigue, there is still something that should make a mundane last few weeks truly interesting. That is as long as Utah, Dallas or both hold up their end of the bargain. Let’s go guys, there’s a lot at stake. And we’re not just talking about a chance to likely lose to San Antonio or Oklahoma City in the first round.