April 4, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) dunks over Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during the second half at Energy Solutions Arena. The Suns defeated the Jazz 107-105. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
The Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns will be playing for all of the marbles on Tuesday night as the two teams battle for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Out of the 30 teams in the NBA, only two teams have yet to confirm whether they'll be headed to the postseason or gone fishing when the regular season ends later this week. Thanks to a solid bit of scheduling, those two teams will meet with a playoff berth on the line Tuesday night, when the Phoenix Suns visit the Utah Jazz.
The Western Conference's eighth and final seed is the only one still up for grabs, and heading into Tuesday night's game, the Jazz hold a one-game advantage over the Suns. Utah could wrap up a postseason berth with a win, but the Suns will control their destiny if they're able to pick up a win when the game tips off at 10:30 p.m. ET as the second game of a TNT doubleheader.
If the Suns do defeat the Jazz, though, a playoff berth still isn't firmly within their grasp. Phoenix would need to either beat the West's top-seeded San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night or have the Jazz lose to the Portland Trail Blazers in their season finale, something that seems a bit unlikely considering the Blazers are already out of the playoffs and likely playing for a better spot in the lottery as opposed to concentrating on playing the role of spoiler.
The matchups will be key and, according to Bright Side of the Sun, Phoenix will need to win the battle of the backcourt if they're going to pick up a victory. That sounds like it might be easier said than done, but the Suns might be able to pull it off as long as Paul Millsap doesn't go crazy ... or D-League call-up Blake Ahearn negates the entire scouting report by scorching the nets from beyond the arc.