Enormous Consequences is a daily look at the most impactful games in the NBA's playoff races.
There are very few regular season NBA games left this year, but Tuesday's slate still features one game with enormous consequences for the team that comes out on the losing end. The Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, playing the second game of a TNT doubleheader, are playing for their playoff lives on Tuesday night.
There's exactly one game separating the two teams in the race for the eighth and final postseason berth coming out of the Western Conference, allowing the winner to control its destiny. It's kind of amazing that the NBA schedule-makers were able to put the two teams together so close to the end the season to add to the drama (TNT knows drama, don'tcha know), but that's probably why schedule-makers get paid the big bucks.
If the Jazz are able to win on Tuesday night, they're in the playoffs and the Suns are eliminated -- simple as that. If Phoenix picks up the victory, however, they'd control their destiny from here, ending up in the playoffs with either a win against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night or if the Jazz lose to the Portland Trail Blazers in their season finale.
There are other games with consequences for the loser, but not necessarily enormous when considering the losing team will still be in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Clippers will try to defeat the Atlanta Hawks (7:30 p.m., NBA League Pass) as they attempt to jump the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead.
The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are playing on Tuesday night, too, but it seems health is more of a priority than securing homecourt advantage (for Boston) or catching the Bulls for the top seed in the East (for the Heat).
The remaining two games mean nothing in terms of the playoffs considering the Oklahoma City Thunder are already locked in to the No. 2 spot in the West whereas the remaining three teams -- the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Hornets and Golden State Warriors -- have all been focused on lottery balls for quite a while.