Phoenix Suns forward Josh Okogie (2) passes the ball away from Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in Phoenix. The Suns won 120-109. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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.
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.
Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns
First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-0 with two games left (March 11, March 24)
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)
Who has the tiebreaker right now? Mavericks
First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 1-2 with one game left (March 5)
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.
Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns
First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 2-1 with one game left (March 29)
Who has the tiebreaker right now? Suns — LOCKED
First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 3-0 with one game left (March 13)
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.
Who has the tiebreaker right now? Trail Blazers — LOCKED
First tiebreaker – Suns’ record vs. them: 1-2 with no games left
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.
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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