March 25th, 2014
The NBA regular season is starting to wind down, which means the matchups are starting to heat up. And while most of the basketball world is fixated on college basketball and March Madness (and rightly so), things are starting to get tense in the playoff races in the NBA as teams start to position for the seeding they want and the matchups they would like to skip until later rounds. With that said, there are a few games this week any die hard NBA fan needs to check out this week as we head towards the playoffs.
1. Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, 8PM ET, ESPN –Â The Heat and Pacers basically have the top #2 seeds in the East locked up. But, that doesn’t mean the playoff race is over for these two juggernauts. Things have been getting chippy between the two teams, and for good reason. This series came down to seven games last year, and whoever has the #1 overall seed will have the home court advantage in that final game were it to happen again this year. But, there’s also the added issue of Chicago, who has been on fire lately. The #1 seed will likely have to see Chicago in the second round, which could make that position slightly less desirable. It’ll be interesting to see if either team wants to take that matchup.
2. New York Knicks vs. Phoenix Suns, Thursday, 10PM ET, FSAZ — Yes, New York is actually still in the playoff race regardless of the atmosphere around the team. They’re currently 9th int he, historically, weak Eastern Conference. So, playoffs are still very much in contention. This isn’t so important that they become the feast of whoever is the #1 seed in the East, but making the playoffs could be big in convincing Carmelo Anthony to stick around. The forward becomes a free agent this summer and New York will definitely be looking to keep him on. Offering some resistance should be the Suns, who currently reside in the ultra-coveted #8 spot in the West. The Suns weren’t expected to be in this mix but no doubt will give New York all they can handle.
3. Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers, Sunday, 9PM ET, NBATV — This is the “fan’s choice” game for NBATV, likely because it has the most playoff implications of any other game that Sunday. The top two seeds (likely San Antonio and Oklahoma City) in the West are far and away better than whoever is next, so there’s a premium on getting a 3-6 seed, and skipping the matchup with the top seeds in the first matchup. Sitting at #5 and #7 respectively, Portland and Memphis are right in the heat of this battle, and expect them to come out blazing Sunday Night in Oregon.
Categories: Sports Previews, Analysis & Guides