Our nightly look ahead to the schedule with a couple of notes and story lines so you can plan out your NBA viewing. All Times Eastern.
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7:00 Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76’ers
The suddenly surging Celtics take on the suddenly slumpin’ Sixers in what could be a turning point in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. A win put the Celtics in the Atlantic Division lead, percentage points ahead of the Sixers… moving the Celtics into the fourth seed and the Sixers into down to seventh. Suddenly, it would the Sixers looking to avoid being the first-round sacrificial lamb for either the Bulls or Heat.
Couple of notes:
- Every Celtics matchup against the Sixers this season is on the second night of a back-to-back
- Sixers haven’t taken a season series vs. Celtics since going 3-1 in 2006-07
7:30 Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat (NBA TV)
With Dwyane Wade nursing a sprained ankle, the Hawks look to take advantage and gain some ground on Miami. The Hawks beat Miami earlier this season and then went to triple overtime before losing in their second matchup. The third… well… that didn’t go quite as well… but the Hawks hope they can take advantage of an opportunity to move past the Pacers into fifth in the East.
Couple of notes:
- Miami has a 32-13 all time record against the Hawks in Miami (18-27 in Atlanta)
- 11-0 when shooting 45%-or-better from the field
8:30 New York Knicks @ San Antonio Spurs
The Big 3 hope to ride their surprisingly superb point guard to a much-needed win.
Apply that line to either team. The Spurs have stumbled out of the All Star break. losing two of three at home. They’ll need Tony Parker to return to the form that had people mentioning him as a dark-horse MVP candidate to right the ship. The Knicks, as we’ve discussed on the site today, will need Jeremy Lin to shake off his recent struggles if the Knicks are going to make any sort of run this year. We’ll see how Parker gets up to face Lin. A lot of point guards seem to be getting extra-amped to face him lately.
Couple of notes:
- Tony Parker averaged 23.5 points and 8.6 assists in February in guiding San Antonio to an NBA-best 11-2 (tied w/Miami)
- New York has lost eight straight against the Spurs in San Antonio. The Knicks last defeated the Spurs in San Antonio on Mar. 18, 2003
Other story lines for tonight
7:00 Houston-Toronto: Houston looks to avoid a season-high five game losing streak.
7:00 LA Lakers-Washington:Which mask well Kobe wear today as the Lakers try to get back on the winning track?
7:00 Utah-Charlotte: Utah looks to win back-to-back road games for only the second time this season.
8:00 LA Clippers-New Jersey: It’s the first matchup of the year between Deron Williams and Chris Paul
8:00 Chicago-Milwaukee: Chicago goes for its second consecutive season sweep of the Bucks.
8:00 Portland-Minnesota: Minnesota goes for its first five-game home winning streak since the 2006-07 season.
8:00 Phoenix-Oklahoma City: OKC goes for its 14th straight home win.
9:00 Cleveland-Denver: The Nuggets try to beat the Cavs for the 10th time in 12 meetings.
10:00 New Orleans-Sacramento: The Kings open a franchise record nine-game homestand.
10:30: Memphis-Golden State (NBA TV): The Grizzlie try for their fifth straight win, and their fifth straight over the Warriors.
Boston, Miami, San Antonio, Houston, LA Lakers, Utah, LA Clippers, Chicago, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Denver, Sacramento, Golden State
Last Time: 7-2