Today’s NBA slate has 9 games, including 1 game on ABC, and 1 game on NBATV.
· Lakers at Nets
· 76ers at Caveliers
· Thunder at Suns
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.
Memphis Grizzlies (50-23) at San Antonio Spurs (46-26)
Time: 4:00 PM PST
How to watch: SPSO, FSSW
Notes: Both of these teams are relativaly healthy, with only Tony Allen (hamstring) of the Grizzlies questionable for today's game. The Grizzlies have not been playing some of their best basketball on the season, going 5-5 in their last 10, while the Spurs are 7-3.
Impact: The Grizzlies poor play as of late and difficult schedule, has opened the door up for a drop in the standings. They are currently tied in the loss column with the Rockets, and those teams are just 2 up on the Clippers. Steve has discussed the schedule, and how it is helping the Clippers, while hurting some of the other teams they are battling for playoff positioning. The Spurs are 1 game back in the loss column to the Clippers, and are now 3 games back of the Grizzlies and Rockets for the Southwest title.
Time: 9:30 AM PST
How to watch: ABC
Notes: The Rockets just can't catch a break. They just got Dwight Howard back in the mix, and now they have lost Patrick Beverly (wrist), possibly for the remainder of the season. Donatas Motiejunas (back), Terrence Jones (ribs), and Kostas Papanikolaou (ankle) are all out as well. For the Wizards, DeJuan Blair (personal), Garrett Temple (hamstring), and Kris Humphries (groin) are all out. Despite injuries, the Rockets continue to win, and are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and winners of their last 3. Washington is 6-4 in their last 10.
Impact: Houston continues to win, despite injuries to key players. They are tied in the loss column with the Grizzlies for the 2 seed. Both of those teams are 2 games ahead of the Clippers in the loss column. If both the Grizzlies and Rockets lose, and the Clippers can continue the win streak against the Celtics today, they will move to 1 game back in the loss column for the 2 seed.
Dallas Mavericks (45-28) at Indiana Pacers (31-41)
Time: 4:00 PM PST
How to watch: FSSW, FSMW
Notes: For Dallas, JJ Bareea (ankle) is questionable, while Monta Ellis (calf) is doubtfull. The Pacers are only missing Paul George (leg). Dallas is 5-5 in the last 10 games. Indiana is 3-7 in their last 10.
Impact: Both the Mavericks and Pacers are battling for playoff spots. Dallas is currently sitting in the 7 spot out west, now 4 games in the loss column up on the Thunder for that spot. They are 2 back of the Spurs for 6, and 3 games back of the Clippers for 5 in the loss column. The Pacers are one of many teams battling for the 8 spot out east, just 1 game back of the Celtics in the loss column.
Oklahoma City Thunder (41-32) at Phoenix Suns (38-35)
Time: 6:00 PM PST
How to watch: NBATV, FSOK, FSAZ
Notes: The Thunder are a mess injury wise. Nick Collison (ankle), Serge Ibaka (knee), Andre Roberson (ankle), and Kevin Durant (foot) are all out of today's game. Kevin Durant will now miss the remainder of the season after having season ending surgery on his foot, which is a blow to their chance to compete in the playoffs. For the Suns, Brandon Knight (ankle) and Kendall Marshall (knee) are out, while Marcus Thornton (toe) is day-to-day. The Thunder are 6-4 in their last 10 games, while the Suns are 5-5.
Impact: Any hope the Thunder had of being the team no one wanted to face in the first round of the playoffs was lost when Kevin Durant had season ending surgery on his injured toe. They now will limp in to the playoffs, and probably put up little to no fight against the Warriors. Could they possibly consider going into tank mode, and allow the Pelicans or Suns to pass them? We should know after this game, because if they still put up a fight, it will show that they are not backing down. The Suns are now 3 game behind the Thunder in the loss column, and they need to win this game for even the slightest chance at making the playoffs.