Today’s NBA slate has 6 games:
· Rockets at Pacers
· Celtics at Nets
· Grizzlies at Knicks
· Hornets at Bulls
· Wolves at Jazz
· Wizards at Warriors
Of these aforementioned games, the following may be of particular interest to you as the playoff race comes down the final stretch. I have ordered these games by their level of entertainment/interest.
Houston Rockets (46-23) at Indiana Pacers (30-39)
Time: 4:00 PM PST
How to watch: FSIN, NBATV
Notes: Houston is a battlefield hospital in full swing. Terrance Jones is Out Indefinitely after suffering a partially collapsed lung. Josh Smith is Questionable with a sprained ankle. Trevor Ariza is Questionable with an illness. Kostas Papnikolaou has been out with an ankle injury. Patrick Beverley is Questionable with elbow burstis. Jason Terry is Probable after a hamstring injury. FINALLY, Dwight Howard is still expected to take at least one more day before coming back from a knee injury that has sidelined him for 2 months. As for the Pacers, Rodney Stuckey is Questionable after a calf injury from Saturday. Paul George remains out.
Impact: The Clippers are well within striking range of the 3rd seeded Houston Rockets because only 2 games separate them in the loss column. (Granted, those 2 losses also represent 2 less games played by Houston.) The seasonal series between the Rockets and Clippers was split 2-2, but the Clippers are 9-3 while the Rockets are 5-6 in their respective divisions. So the Clippers will get the tiebreaker if the teams are tied at season’s end. This is also important because the Clippers have already surpassed the Blazers with a higher win percentage (albeit remain 1 game behind in the loss column). The end point of this all is that the Clippers want to avoid the Warriors for as long as possible. Getting in the 2nd or 3rd seed would ensure that. Thus, Go Pacers!
Memphis Grizzlies (49-21) @ New York Knicks (14-56)
Time: 4:30 PM PST
How to watch: MSG, SPSO, C+ D
Notes: For the Grizzlies, Conley returned Friday from his ankle injury. Courtney Lee however is Questionable because of a right hand sprain. The Knicks have been left with a joke squad since injuries overtook the team on par with Houston’s troubles. Melo is out for the season. Jose Calderon is still slowly progressing from an Achilles injury and last played February 25th. From there, Travis Wear is Questionable because of a sore lower back, Alexey Shved is Questionable because of a rib contusion, Tim Hardaway Jr. is Questionable with a wrist injury, and Cleanthony Early is Questionable with an ankle injury.
Impact: It’s unlikely the Clippers can catch the Grizzlies. 4 games in the loss column separate the 2. Memphis leads the seasonal series 2-1, but one game remains on April 11th. Games like this are unlikely to change that equation. Still, the Knicks beat the Spurs (in New York) back on March 17th, so anything is possible I guess.
Washington Wizards (40-30) at Golden State Warriors (56-13)
Time: 7:30 PM PST
How to watch: CSBA, CSMA, NBATV
Notes: Klay Thompson has missed the last 3 games due to an ankle injury and is Questionable for this game. For the Wizards, Kris Humphries is Questionable with a groin injury. Garret Temple is out with a hamstring injury for the entirety of this Wizards’ road trip.
Impact: The Clippers aren’t catching the Warriors. This game will be more just for entrainment value as John Wall versus Steph Curry is a pretty sweet matchup.