Tuesday NBAction open thread

USA TODAY Sports

Five NBA games tonight, including a showdown in Oklahoma City between the Blazers and the Thunder, currently tied for second in the Western Conference with the Clippers chasing them.

We instituted these nightly open threads for the second half of the season last year. Discussion of other NBA games is starting to heat up on random threads, so it seems like it's probably time to start them up again.

Let me know your thoughts on these threads. They're not hard to do obviously -- just one more damn thing. If you like them, let me know. We could do them every night when there's no Clippers game; or we could do them every night and keep the Clippers discussion on the Clippers thread, while keeping the general NBA discussion separate. For now I'll plan to have a separate thread at least for nights when the Clippers don't play, but let me know your thoughts.

At any rate, five games on the slate tonight, three in the Western Conference.

Orlando at Brooklyn, 4:30 PM

Boston at Miami, 4:30 PM, NBATV

Sacramento at New Orleans, 5:00 PM

Portland at Oklahoma City, 5:00 PM

Minnesota at Utah, 6:00 PM

The lone national TV game is Boston at Miami, because, of course it is. Miami has been slumping, but at home against the Heat they'll be fine.

The big game for the Clippers is Portland at OKC, but it's difficult to make the case for what the best outcome from the Clippers perspective would be. The two teams are tied in the standings at 31-9, with the Clippers three games back. No matter who wins and who loses, the Clippers will pull a half game closer to third, drop a half game further away from second. I guess I'd say I want Portland to win this game, because if we're talking about catching someone for home court advantage, I'd prefer to catch OKC, since they will be the more formidable foe in the playoffs. If we assume that Portland is still overachieving and will come back to earth and/or falter in the playoffs, then you want them to win this one and bring the Thunder back another step.

The other Western Conference games happen to feature three of the four teams who appear to be out of the playoff race (injuries scuttled the New Orleans season, which has otherwise been very impressive). Meanwhile, Minnesota really needs to get their act together and start winning some close games or they'll sink into irrelevance too.

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