The congested playoff pictures in both conferences adds some serious sizzle to League Pass games until it gets sorted out, with an assortment of Double Tank contests and a fantastic Game of the Week in Rockets/Raptors.
Bucks at Pacers, 7 p.m.: Indiana struggled out of the All-Star break but beat the Bucks in Milwaukee on Friday, giving this game a little extra edge. Oladipo and Giannis are the justified headliners but Eric Bledsoe will have the chance to play a big role after dealing with foul trouble against the Pacers last week.
Suns at Heat, 7:30 p.m.: On the list because the Suns have been playing hard despite their incentives and it will be fun to see how Miami’s collection of perimeter defenders fares against Devin Booker.
Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m.: Kris Dunn trying to shut down Kyrie Irving makes this one worth watching but it could also be a nice test for Lauri Markkanen, who is having a strong rookie season.
Heat at Wizards, 7 p.m.: The Wizards have found a new offensive flow without John Wall and will need it to keep their momentum going against a talented Miami squad fighting for a spot in the playoffs. Tomas Satoransky has been a revelation the last few weeks but will need to tangle with Goran Dragic here.
76ers at Hornets, 7 p.m.: Philadelphia needed to make up a double-digit deficit on Friday, another reminder of the Hornets’ capability at close to full strength. The Sixers will need someone to step up on Kemba Walker and the Hornets will probably need Dwight Howard to stay out of foul trouble guarding Embiid.
Nuggets at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.: Lots of fun angles here, especially Jamal Murray and Dennis Smith Jr squaring off at point guard. Paul Millsap guarding Dirk will be worth watching as well, as the offseason’s defense has come around more quickly than is offense since his return from injury.
Jazz at Pacers, 7 p.m.: Both teams are over .500 but still need this game badly to solidify their playoff position. Donovan Mitchell and Victor Oladipo have both massively surpassed expectations this year but the interior will be key, as Rudy Gobert has dominated since returning.
Rockets at Bucks, 8 p.m.: Tons of star power here and the Rockets will be on the tail end of a brutal back-to-back having played in Oklahoma City the night before. Former teammates Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe will loom large in deciding the outcome.
Grizzlies at Bulls, 8 p.m.: A nice double tank change of pace rolling alongside Rockets/Bucks. Chicago already beat Dallas in one of these games last week and needs to tone it down if they want good lottery odds.
Nets at Hornets, 7 p.m.: This could end up being surprisingly competitive if the Nets can shake off some of their recent struggles. D’Angelo Russell has a lot to prove in the final month-plus of the season and should have the opportunity to do so.
76ers at Heat, 7:30 p.m.: Another rematch of a recent game, as Miami beat Philly with Dwyane Wade’s spectacular clutch performance just over a week ago.
Suns at Thunder, 8 p.m.: Had to make the list after the Thunder barely escaped Phoenix with a comeback win. Devin Booker will need to have another big night for the Suns to stay close.
Rockets at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (Game of the Week): This game is too good for League Pass. The Rockets and Raptors have been the best teams in their respective conferences so far this season and this will be their only game in Toronto, which should help balance it. Lots of challenging match-ups for both teams but the point guards will play straight up and just battle.
Warriors at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.: Two strong Western Conference teams with plenty of history, including playoff series the last two years. Damian Lillard has been on fire recently and the Warriors have not played their typical locked-in defense most of this season.
Magic at Kings, 10 p.m.: For the second time this week, there is a tank spectacle starting at the same time as a competitive one, allowing for a nice alternative during commercials and whatnot.
Suns at Hornets, 5 p.m.: Charlotte’s performance this week will presumably determine how many times they make this list in future weeks, since they need to win consistently to stay in the playoff picture. Elfrid Payton is an established commodity to the Hornets as a longtime divisional foe, so it will be interesting to see what changes with new teammates.
Wizards at Heat, 7:30 p.m.: The second time these teams play in the same week and this one will be significant as well. Both start traditional centers but it will be more interesting to see what lineups they close with should the game be tight late.
Grizzlies at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.: I am not sure what the opposite of a palate cleanser is but this game probably qualifies, though it could be the final time Marc Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki square off.
Bulls at Hawks, 3:30 p.m.: Effort will be the determining factor here as both teams have defensive capability despite their incentives the rest of the season.
Jazz at Pelicans, 4 p.m.: This could end up as one of the more interesting games of the week, especially if the Pelicans close with Anthony Davis at center. Plus, we can have the winning team get to use “Jazz” from here on out (offer only valid if New Orleans wins).
Pacers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m.: A wonderful way to end the League Pass week as this is a game with competitive teams and real stakes. Corey Joseph will presumably draw the primary assignment on Kyrie Irving while the Celtics will try a series of players on Victor Oladipo.