Be okay, Marcin! Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Make some free throws, Suns!

(oh, and do that without stopping anything else you're already doing well, k??

Wrestle that playoff spot away from them Marcin! Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

Next Game

The Suns have GOT to win this game tonight to keep moving in the right direction.

Dig deep, ye ol' oranj n purp! Kick them arses!

Suns vs Jazz coverage

Suns vs Jazz preview

SLC Dunk

Can Nash carry the Suns to victory on a B2B? Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

As it is with every remaining game on the Phoenix Suns' schedule, this one tonight against the Utah Jazz has huge playoff implications. The Suns are only 1/2 game out of Utah's 9th place and 1.5 games out of Houston's 8th, the latter being the minimum requirement to keep playing games into May 2012.

While tonight's game does not vault the Suns all the way into the playoff picture, a win would award the Suns sole possession of 9th place over Utah. At least that's better than 10th!

A win tonight will be quite difficult, though, so don't be surprised if the Suns come up short.

  • Utah is 19-7 at home
  • Utah is rested, not having played since beating Portland on Monday night
  • Phoenix is 11-15 on the road
  • Phoenix just played last night in Sacramento, with Nash racking up 33 great minutes

However, Utah has lost 3 of their last 4 and most of their rotation is young, not used to the playoff pressure, while the Suns' lineup is full of veteran's accustomed to qualifying and going deep into the playoffs. Just two seasons ago, many of these same Suns finished on a 28-7 tear and blazed through two playoff rounds before bowing out to the LA Kobes.

And this season the Suns are on a roll again. They have gone 15-7 in their last 22 games, many of those against quality opposition. Everyone looks more comfortable in their roles and, hence, are providing more predictable (winning) results. Newcomers Michael Redd, Shannon Brown and even Sebastian Telfair are providing more now than earlier in the season.

But the road is getting sloppier by the day. Gone are the creampuff games. Gone are the long home stretches.

7 of the Suns' last 13 games are on the road, with toughies in that 13 including 2 against Utah, 2 against Denver, 2 against San Antonio, plus the Lakers, Wolves, Grizz, Dragons, Clips and Thunder. The only "easy" game in their last 13 is against the tanking Blazers. A gauntlet, for sure. The Suns HAVE to win more than half of these games and hope someone falls on their face in turn.

The Suns won their only prior matchup with the Jazz this season, 120-111 in Phoenix on March 14. Since then, Utah beaten fellow playoff contestants Wolves, Lakers, Thunder and Nuggets coupled with relevant losses to the Clippers and Kings. Utah's upcoming sked gets tough (two Spurs games, two Suns games, plus Rockets, Grizz and Mavs among their final 12), so they need this win tonight almost as bad as the Suns. The young Jazz have a high-scoring offense and high-scoring defense. The key to beating them is scoring the ball, which the Suns do well.

The next biggest obstacle to the Suns' playoff hopes are the Houston Dragons. They play at the LA Lakers on Friday as part of 7 of their final 12 games on the road. Toughies include @Lakers, Jazz, Suns, 2 against the Nuggs, @Dallas and @Miami. The Suns basically need Houston to lose two more of those toughies than the Suns.

Denver is also a team the Suns could catch. 7 of their last 13 are on the road. Toughies among their final 13 include 2 against the Suns, 2 against the Dragons, 2 against the Wolves, plus Lakers, Clips, Magic and OKC.

This is doable, folks!

Suns vs Jazz coverage

Suns vs Jazz preview

SLC Dunk

Phoenix Suns 107, Utah Jazz 105 As much talk as the Phoenix Suns have spouted about making the playoffs, their words have done little to chisel themselves out of the 10th spot in the Western...

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Steve Nash recently told his old buddy from Dallas, ESPN's Marc Stein, that he wants to play three more years in the NBA. Nash, as we well know, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and at the ripe young age of 38 thinks that he's got another good run left in him.

It's no small thing for Nash to want to play three more years and certainly leaves the Suns with a pretty big decision to make. Some seem ready to move on from the Nash era, but with no "point guard of the future" waiting in the wings, what's the rush?

Here's my thoughts on the matter.

What do you think? Poll after the jump.

And yes, my pool is very clean now and we'll be swimming soon. Pool party at my house?

Should the Suns try and sign Steve Nash to a three-year deal?

  273 votes | Results

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