Ranking Potential Suns Playoff Matchups

Who should the Phoenix Suns prefer to play in the first round of the postseason?
Apr 5, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Royce O'Neale (00) shoots over Minnesota
Apr 5, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Royce O'Neale (00) shoots over Minnesota / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns now sit at 46-32 through 78 games.

Although the Suns and New Orleans Pelicans are once again tied record-wise, Phoenix holds the head-to-head tiebreaker, which gives them the upper-hand in the race for the sixth seed in the West.

What is the pecking order of potential first-round matchups for the Suns - assuming they can hold onto the six spot?

We will visit that in short order (this ranking is from most to least desirable):

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

This is in no way meant to be disrespect towards the Wolves. They have had an incredibly strong regular season and are certainly a legitimate contender.

However, the uncertainty surrounding Timberwolves star F Karl Anthony-Towns following meniscus surgery coupled with the Suns matching up well against the Wolves' stout defense make this the most ideal matchup in a crowd of three very quality basketball teams.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City is yet again another squad that would turn out to be a less-than-optimal matchup, as OKC has a play-style that somewhat contrasts how Phoenix organizes.

The Thunder also resemble the 2021 Suns that reached the finals in some ways - they are as hungry as anyone to prove themselves.

OKC is a slightly worse matchup than Minnesota going into the postseason.

3. Denver Nuggets

Yes, the Suns have proven they can beat the Nuggets on the road. The Suns have proven that they match-up better with Denver this year than last.

The Nuggets ultimately aren't a team the Suns want to take a shot at in the first round.

Nikola Jokic is still the best player in basketball. Jamal Murray is a different monster in the playoffs. They are as well-coached as anyone and can outshoot anyone on a game-to-game basis.

As of now, this is the least ideal matchup for Phoenix.

The 2024 NBA playoffs are set to begin on April 20.

Kevin Hicks