Today’s NBA slate has only 4 games, with 2 games on TNT.
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.
San Antonio Spurs (47-26) @ Miami Heat (34-39)
Time: 5:00 PM PST
How to watch: TNT
Notes: The Spurs are injury free, but, with Gregg Popovich, there is no telling who will play, and who might get the night off. The Heat, on the other hand, are keeping their medical staff busy. Shabazz Napier (hip) is doubtful. Luol Deng (knee), Michael Beasley (elbow), Chris Anderson (ankle), and Hassan Whiteside (hand) are all questionable. Chris Bosh (illness) and Josh McRoberts (knee) are out. The Spurs come into the game 7-3 in their last 10, and winners of 3 straight. The Heat are 6-4 in their last 10.
Impact: The Spurs continue to nip at the heals of the Clippers and Blazers in the standings, sitting 1 game back in the loss column. Also, with the recent losses by the Rockets and Grizzlies, they now sit just 2 back in the loss column to both those teams. The Mavericks are the closest team behind them, 3 games back in the loss column. The Heat are currently sitting as the 7 seed in the East, 1 game back of the Bucks (6 seed) in the loss column, but also just 2 games up on the Celtics (8 seed) and Pacers (10th place), so they could use a victory tonight.
Indiana Pacers (32-41) @ Brooklyn Nets (32-40)
Time: 4:30 PM PST
How to watch: YES, FSIN
Notes: The Pacers come in to tonight's game with Rodney Stuckey (wrist) questionable, along with Paul George (leg) out. The Nets Deron Williams (illness) is questionable, with Sergey Karasev (knee) and Mirza Teletovic (illness) out. The Pacers are 3-7 in their last 10, while the Nets are making a late season playoff push, going 7-3 in their last 10, and coming into the game riding a 3 game winning streak.
Impact: Although this game has no impact on the Clippers, this might be the most exciting game to watch. Both of these teams are currently sitting outside the top 8 in the East (the Nets are currently 9th by winning percentage, but have one less loss than the 8th place Celtics, so they control their playoff destiny). If the Nets can win, they will officially pass the Celtics in the standings, and win the season series against the Pacers. The Pacers are currently tied with the Celtics in the loss column, 1 game behind the Nets. If the Pacers can win, they will win the season series against the Nets, which is important in a close playoff race. The Pacers are currently 1-2 versus the Celtics this season, with 1 game remaining. If the Pacers can win that game, the tiebreaker will go to conference record, which currently favors the Pacers. Basically, the Pacers can control their playoff lives.
Atlanta Hawks (56-18) @ Detroit Pistons (28-45)
Time: 4:30 PM PST
How to watch: FSDT, SPSO
Notes: For the Hawks, Dennis Schröder (toe) and Mike Scott (toe) are both out. The Pistons will be without Greg Monroe (knee) and Brandon Jennings (achilles). The Hawks are 6-4, while the Pistons are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Impact: The Hawks are the top team in the East, and with a 9 game lead in the loss column over the Cavs, and only 8 games remaining, they have locked up the 1 seed. The Pistons, on the other hand, are hanging onto playoff hopes by a pinky finger. It's unbelievable that, with a record of 28-45, they are still alive, but they are. They are currently 5 games back in the loss column to the Nets. If the Pistons can win, while the Nets lose, they can keep those playoff dreams alive just a little bit longer, but a loss would all but squash those dreams.