Non-National NBA Games Of The Week (Mar. 18-Mar. 24)
As we start the NCAA Tournament, the NBA actually takes a back seat to the youngsters. However, we still have some strong games featuring teams clawing their way into the playoffs or battling for seeding.
Nuggets @ Bulls: After a big home win against the Grizzlies, Denver needs to keep that momentum going against another team looking to move up the ladder in their conference. I’m excited to see how Joakim Noah handles Denver’s offense.
Blazers @ Bucks: Portland needs to go on a big run in order to get into the playoffs and this game in Milwaukee could mark their last chance. Meanwhile, the Bucks have to gut out a win here because they play the Hawks twice this week in addition to this tilt.
Jazz @ Rockets: Like Denver, Utah got a big home win against the Grizzlies that they need to carry forward. Unfortunately for them, the Rockets have just as much to play for and are 22-9 at home thus far in 2012-2013. Omer Asik should have his hands full with the deepest front line rotation in the league.
Thunder @ Grizzlies [Game of the Week]: A huge statement game for both teams and a potential playoff preview. Oklahoma City needs to catch up to the Spurs while also proving they can beat a team that has been a thorn in their side in the playoffs before. Memphis has lost some tough games and have to play better in order to get the pivotal 3-seed.
Celtics @ Mavericks: Another last gasp game, this time for Dallas. As the top nine teams in the West have created some distance over the past week or so, the Mavericks must beat an Eastern Conference playoff team in order to keep their heads above water.
Pacers @ Bulls: This one has plenty of luster even if we do not see Derrick Rose since it stands out as a potential match-up in the first or second round. Let’s see how Paul George and Luol Deng handle each other since that could give a good indication of where a potential seven game series would go.
Nets @ Clippers: Even if the rivalry has seen better days, a true NBA fan has to get excited about Chris Paul and Deron Williams going at it. Both teams will make the playoffs and have plenty of work to do in order to host their respective first round playoff series.
Hawks @ Bucks: Potentially fun game between two teams trying their hardest not to play Miami in the first round. Considering Milwaukee was close to acquiring Josh Smith just a few weeks ago and the fact that the teams will have played just a few days earlier in Atlanta, this should have plenty of intrigue and intensity.
Spurs @ Rockets: I am fascinated to see how Popovich and the Spurs try to stop the high-octane Houston offense. Either way, this should have more than enough fireworks to warrant a watch as the second round Tourney games wind down.