Connect with us

Phoenix Suns

What the Pelicans win over the Kings means for the Suns

© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The two closest teams in the standings to the Phoenix Suns squared off in a head-to-head matchup tonight in Sacramento.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

The New Orleans Pelicans (48-32) defeated the Sacramento Kings (45-35) 135-123 to remain one game ahead of the Suns in the standings for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.

Sacramento, meanwhile dropped two games behind Phoenix (47-33) and stayed in the No. 8 spot. The Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors all have a 45-35 record now.

All of these teams, including the Suns, who sit in the No. 7 seed, have two games remaining.

The Suns play the Kings tomorrow night in Sacramento. If the Suns win this game, they lock up either a No. 7 or No. 6 seed.

Phoenix has the head-to-head tiebreaker over New Orleans, so it has to finish 2-0 and the Pelicans go 1-1 for Phoenix to move to the No. 6 seed, or the Suns could go 1-1 and Pelicans 0-2.

The Suns play the Minnesota Timberwolves (55-25) on the road in their regular season finale Sunday. The Pelicans play tomorrow on the road against the Warriors and host the Lakers Sunday.

If the Suns lose their remaining two games, we could be looking at a multiple-team tie (up to four) depending on which of the teams behind them win out. If the Suns win any of their remaining games, they will be ahead of the Kings, Lakers and Warriors no matter what.

Here’s how the tiebreaker is decided between multiple teams:

In this situation, the tiebreaker would come down to head-to-head won-lost percentage and then division. Here is how it shapes out between the Suns, Kings, Lakers and Warriors:

  1. Kings: 9-4
  2. Suns: 7-7 (8-10 division)
  3. Warriors: 6-6 (7-9 division)
  4. Lakers: 4-9

With this being said, the lowest the Suns can drop to is the No. 8 seed.

If the Suns lose both of their games, the Kings and Lakers would own the head-to-head tiebreaker over them, but the Suns would have the tiebreaker over Golden State. However, these tiebreakers are only applied if they are the only two teams tied. If more than one team ties with Phoenix, it is decided by the above multi-way tie qualifications.

The final schedules for the Kings, Lakers and Warriors:

  • Kings: vs. Suns (4/12), vs. Trail Blazers (4/14)
  • Lakers: at Grizzlies (4/12), at Pelicans (4/14)
  • Warriors: vs. Pelicans (4/12), vs. Jazz (4/14)

The Big Picture

Here is how the full Western Conference standings look right now (via ESPN):

This muti-way tiebreaker situation might end up applying to the top-3 teams as well. However, the Clippers and Mavericks are locked into a 4-5 matchup.

Right now, the Suns would host the Kings in the play-in game. If Phoenix wins, it would play the No. 2 Timberwolves in the first round. If the Suns lose, they would host the winner of a Lakers at Warriors matchup in the second round of the play-in. The winner of this second game would play the No. 1 Denver Nuggets, and whoever loses would be eliminated.

The standings will clear up after tomorrow night for the Suns if they win, but if not we will still be looking at the same mess.

So to simply put it, Phoenix just needs to win to make this all easier for themselves.

Devin Booker is now eligible to make an All-NBA Team

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

More in Phoenix Suns