The Western Conference is packed. Three teams are tied for the 5th Seed with the Warriors, Clippers, and Lakers, respectively. With less than two weeks remaining for the start of the playoffs, this is who the playoff bound Phoenix Suns will most likely play in the first round.
Los Angeles Clippers
The LA Clippers have 3 games remaining before the start of the playoffs. They play the Lakers, Trail Blazers, and Suns to end the regular season. The Clippers are in a must-win position to avoid the play-in-tournament.
The Clippers are 10-0 against the Lakers since Tyronn Lue became the head coach and is certainly the kryptonite to Lebron James Lakers’. It will be the most meaningful game for both teams before the playoffs start.
The absence of Paul George is a big blow to the Clippers because he lifts a lot of the scoring responsibility off of Kawhi Leonard and is also one of the best wing defenders in the NBA. Without Paul George, the Clippers are just 6-11 this season. He is crucial for the success of the LA Clippers going into the playoffs.
Los Angeles Lakers
The LA Lakers have been on a roll since the trade deadline back in February. They have won 7 of their last 10 games and were on a four-game winning streak before losing to the Clippers last night.
Anthony Davis has been phenomenal in the last few games and is averaging 34.2 ppg in the last 4 wins for the purple and gold.
Since the All-Star break, the Lakers have been playing like they have something to prove and are right back in playoff contention. The Lakers are playing the Clippers next, on a back-to-back.
The Lakers have not won a single game against Clippers, making them a team they want to avoid.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have been a very confusing team this season. Their record is 33-8 at home and 9-30 on the road. A big part of the reason has been their stellar defense at home and lackluster defensive effort on the road.
They were sitting in the fifth seed after a win against OKC and are certainly looking like the team that the Suns play in the first round, but they dropped back to sixth after a night off and the Clippers win.
After their own disappointing loss against Denver on Monday, they now have to win both the games remaining in the regular season to avoid the play-in tournament.
Who Will the Suns’ Play?
Looking at the schedule, the Suns will likely face the Warriors in the first round.
There are many questions for the Suns going into the playoffs, but the fact remains that the Phoenix Suns are still the favorites to come out of the west.
Besides having Kevin Durant on their roster, the Suns made it to the finals in 2021 and had the best record in the Western Conference last year. As the playoffs unravel, we will see what the ceiling is for the talented Suns team.