Some nights in the National Basketball Association are filled with monster match-ups of top teams fighting each other for playoff positioning and bragging rights. There are games that feature one top team from the Western Conference and one top team from the Eastern Conference and they almost always leave us wanting more.
There are also some nights in the NBA that are filled with real stinkers. These games have little or no impact on anything that remotely resembles the playoffs.
Utah (-5.5) at Philadelphia – As you are probably aware, the Philadelphia 76ers are not real good. They are currently in the midst of a 15-game losing streak yet amazingly; Milwaukee is still 2.5 games worse than they are in the Eastern Conference.
The good news for Philly is that the Utah Jazz are in town. They are also in a “race” for the basement in their respective conference and have lost four straight. At some point the Sixers are going to break this losing streak and while I can see it happening soon it won’t be tonight. Take the Jazz to cover.
Charlotte (NL) at Memphis – The Bobcats travel to Tennessee clinging to the seventh spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They have a one game lead over Atlanta and trail sixth seed Brooklyn by three games. Thus, Charlotte is basically playing for a seventh or eighth seed unless Brooklyn greatly stumbles or Detroit (three games out) suddenly gets hot.
The sad reality of this game tonight is that Memphis is eight games over .500 and still out of the playoffs while the Bobcats are five games under .500. The Grizzlies have won seven of their last ten and continue to apply pressure to Dallas, Phoenix and Golden State who are all within three games of the Griz.
Neither one of these teams will blow you away and I don’t see that happening tonight either.
Atlanta (+14) at LA Clippers – It wasn’t that long ago that the Atlanta Hawks were in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff mix. Now they find themselves hanging on to the eighth seed by a very thin string as they’ve lost nine of their last ten games.
The complete opposite of them would be their opponent tonight, the Los Angeles Clippers, who have won eight of their last ten and most recently put the largest whipping in team history on the rival Lakers. While the debate over who the best team in the Western Conference wages on, the Clippers have certainly asserted themselves into this debate.
The Hawks are a sinking ship right now and they are heading into a tidal wave of epic proportions. Take the Clippers to cover despite the double-digits.
Washington (-8.5) at Milwaukee – The Washington Wizards travel to Milwaukee where the Bucks have been, shall we say, bad? With just 12 total wins, the Bucks are the worst team in the NBA. They’ve won just seven times on their home court while the Wizards have won 16 times on the road.
Currently in the fifth spot in the East, the Wizards are thinking bigger. They trail fourth and third seeds Chicago and Toronto by just two games. Jumping into either the third or fourth slot would be huge for Washington because it would give them home-court advantage in a first round match-up.
The Bucks have gone 3-7 over their last ten games which looks pretty awful. Consider though that those three wins constitute one quarter of their overall win totals. Maybe it’s fair to say the Bucks are on a bit of roll. OK, maybe not.
Take the Wizards tonight to cover as these are two teams are headed in opposite directions.