A busy night of NBA action as always on a Friday, with the Cleveland Cavaliers trying to put the LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Miami drama behind them at the headliner, while the Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Hornets clashing should be very interesting, at least for its consequences on playoff seeding in the East or maybe even determining who makes the postseason.
Indiana Pacers (32-29) @ Charlotte Hornets (32-28): The Pacers have been playing dumb basketball of late and mostly losing. The Hornets haven’t been playing any smarter, but they’re on quite a roll at home. Can their coaches try and turn these teams into something more than the star taking a whole lot of shots and the others feeding off scraps?
Phoenix Suns (15-46) @ Orlando Magic (27-33): A perfect change for the Magic to pick up an easy win while for most of their players to inflate their stats. I feel like an Aaron Gordon dunk-fest could be on its way.
Miami Heat (35-26) @ Philadelphia 76ers (8-53): The Sixers have another double digits losing streak on their hands. Considering how well the Heat have been playing lately, it’s going to grow even longer before they win that crucial ninth win.
New York Knicks (25-37) @ Boston Celtics (37-25): There’s always a little spice to this rivalry even when it’s quite one sided heading into one of the games. Frankly, as long as the Celtics backcourt continues to thrive like it has recently, it’s not even going to be a close one. Carmelo Anthony has been frustrated, but he can only blame himself if he doesn’t like the situation that he finds himself in. The writing was on the wall.
Portland Trail Blazers (33-29) @ Toronto Raptors (40-19): One of the funnest backcourt duels we’re going to see this season. The team that gets it’s defense right wins.
Washington Wizards (30-30) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (42-17): There’s some bad aura surrounding the Cavaliers again. Good basketball, bad basketball, it feels as if they know no matter how good they might be in the regular season, it’s not going to be enough with the Golden State Warriors sharing this universe. Kevin Love isn’t going to be playing, which might make things interesting, although not sure who wins from this.
Utah Jazz (28-32) @ Memphis Grizzlies (36-24): The Jazz have been slipping lately, and against a Grizzlies team playing surprisingly well without Marc Gasol, it’s going to take more than Gordon Hayward’s offense to start their late season playoff push.
Minnesota Timberwolves (19-42) @ Milwaukee Bucks (25-36): There’s nothing like a visit from one of the worst (but fun to watch) teams in the NBA to keep your playoff hopes alive.
Brooklyn Nets (17-44) @ Denver Nuggets (24-37): If there’s one game worth missing tonight, it’s this one, with two teams that at least in this season have nothing to play for. The future? The Nuggets have something to look forward to. The Nets are kinda stuck.
Atlanta Hawks (33-28) @ Los Angeles Lakers (12-50): No Kobe Bryant playing, which is bad news for the Hawks, and great news for D’Angelo Russell, who has been really finding his rhythm lately.