After hurtling through the first "half" of the season to reach the All-Star Break, the Phoenix Suns will enter the final stretch of the season with just 28 games left to make the playoffs.
After playing 24 of the first 40 games on the road, the Suns enjoy a long, long time at home before the stretch run after the All Star Break.
The Suns spend much of late January and February in the friendly confines of US Airways Center, beginning with a franchise record eight straight home games (over 19 days) and a run up to the All-Star Break that includes more national TV games than all of last season, the Suns will come into the final stretch ready to spread their wings.
Counting in the All-Star Break, the Suns will have only played three road games in 39 days versus 11 home games. That's about to change again, once the break is over.
Coming out of the break, with whatever team is left (ie. the trade deadline), the Suns will get back on the road to test their mettle.
The list of opponents could be very difficult to beat, but a playoff-caliber team ought to be able to win more than they lose. Those Suns fans outside the Phoenix area will continue to enjoy many of the Suns games on TV, with 5 games on either NBATV or TNT.
That TNT game at OKC will be the last Suns game on TNT until late April.
Assuming the Suns are in the playoff chase, with say a 32-22 record to start this stretch, a 5-5 split would put them at 37-27. A 6-4 finish here would put them 12 over, at 38-26, just in time for a nice home stretch.
In this crazy, unbalanced season, the Suns now get a home stand of 9 games out of 10 in US Airways Center. There's only one back-to-back in the whole set, and of course that's against the Texas twosome of Chandler Parsons employers.
Here, the Suns need to finish 7-3 at least, before the season-ending gauntlet of roadies. Going 7-3 would raise their record to about 45-29.
Just like last season, the Suns finish it up with mostly road games that could derail their playoff hopes. Read it and fret.
Six of the opponents in the final eight games could easily be playoff opponents, also fighting for positioning in the Wild West. The Suns will have to win 5 of 8 to get that 50-win mark. Tall task. It doesn't help that they play Dallas once again on the back end of a back-to-back, and most of these on the enemy's court.
There you have it, Suns fans. A way for the Suns to get that needed 50 wins to ensure a playoff spot.