Today’s NBA slate offers 12 games.
· Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trailblazers
· San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic
· Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards
· Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Hornets
· Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
· Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks
· Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets
· Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks
· Toronto Raptors at Minnesota Timberwolves
· Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder
· Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz
· New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers
Of these games, aside from the Clippers games, the following are important for their impact on the Western Conference Standings. I have listed them below in order of interest. For specific details of the playoff race and tiebreakers, go here.
Sacramento Kings (26-47) at Houston Rockets (50-24)
Time: 5:00 PST
Notes: The Rockets keep winning in spite of injuries. Corey Brewer (oblique) and Jason Terry (neck) are Probable. Dwight Howard (knee) is Questionable. Donatas Motiejunas (back) and Kostas Papanikolaou (ankle) are still out, but slated to return sometime soon. Patrick Beverley is Out for the Season. The Sacramento Kings expect Rudy Gay (concussion) back sometime soon, but will be without Darren Collison (hip) until at least mid-April. Eric Moreland (shoulder) is Out for the Season.
Impact: The Clippers split the series with Houston. Houston has a 2 game lead in the loss column overall. The Clippers have the Conference record tiebreaker as they lead Houston by 2 games in the loss column. Simply put, Go Kings. We need the Clippers to make up 2 games.
Dallas Mavericks (45-29) at Oklahoma City Thunder (42-32)
Time: 5:00 PM PST
Notes: The Thunder expect Nick Collison (knee) and Andre Roberson (ankle) back sometime soon, and Ibaka (knee) to be out until at least mid-April. Durant (foot) is Out for the Season.
Impact: OKC is leading for the 8th seed by two games in the loss column. However, the Pelicans have the tiebreaker between them, so OKC needs to keep winning. Dallas is free falling. If OKC wins, they’ll potentially be in play for the 7th seed. An OKC win would tie their seasonal series, although Dallas has a better Conference record. Still, only 3 games of the loss column separate OKC and Dallas.
San Antonio Spurs (48-26) at Orlando Magic (22-52)
Time: 4:00 PM PST
Notes: For the magic, DeWayne Dedmon (ankle) is Probable. Evan Fournier (hip) is expected back sometime soon. Devyn Marble (eye) is out until at least Mid-April. The Spurs have NOTHING to report on their injury report.
Impact: The Spurs are tied with the Clippers in losses (with the Clippers sporting 1 more win). The seasonal series tied. The Clippers have a 4 game lead in the Conference record. Simply put: Go Magic.
New Orleans Pelicans (39-34) at Los Angeles Lakers (20-53)
Time: 7:30 PM PST
Notes: The Pelicans expect Jrue Holiday (leg) sometime soon. Ryan Anderson (knee) is Probable. The Lakers are without Julius Randle (leg), Steve Nash (ankle), and Kobe Bryant (shoulder) for the season. Nick Young (knee) and Ronnie Price (elbow) are expected back sometime soon.
Impact: As noted, the Pelicans have the tiebreaker against OKC and are only 2 games back in the loss column. The Pelicans should win this (easy) game and continue to make the chase for the last (two) seed(s) in the Conference pretty interesting for the general NBA fan.