With just a few days remaining in the NBA’s 2013-14 regular season, fifteen of the league’s sixteen playoff spots have been clinched – the lone available spot coming at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Currently the Memphis Grizzlies own the rights to the Western Conference’s eighth seed thanks to a one-game lead over the Phoenix Suns, who thanks to a two-game losing streak have fallen out of the playoff picture.
Ironically enough, the Grizzlies and Suns will play each other on Monday evening, a game that could very well decide the season for both teams.
In simple terms, if the Grizzlies come away victorious, they clinch the eighth seed and will take on the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs. If the Suns are able to win however, that would put both teams with an identical 48-33 record going into the final game of the season.
In such a scenario, Memphis will host the Dallas Mavericks while the Phoenix Suns will travel to the Sacramento Kings.
Unfortunately for the Suns, thanks to the Grizzlies going 3-0 against Phoenix this season, they have been awarded the season series and hold the tiebreaker. That means for the Suns to make the postseason they will need to defeat the Grizzlies on Monday night, defeat the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday evening and hope the Dallas Mavericks beat the Grizzlies on the same night.