After this week, the NBA Play-In Tournament will only be a month away. However, don’t bother looking at the playoff standings just yet. Looking at the standings right now might provide more questions than answers. You’ll just have to wait until the start of April when things should start taking shape. What you should be looking forward to instead are the games for the upcoming week.
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March 7, 9, 11, & 13
These are the dates to keep in mind if you’re a Los Angeles Lakers fan because this right here is a possible four-game winning streak. It might be hard to believe but a closer look at the schedule might change your mind. They’re facing the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets in their two-game stay in Texas. Both teams have losing records which is always a good sign if you want to know your chances of winning.
Lakers will then go home to face the visiting Washington Wizards. The Wizards, as you might already know, do not have the services of scoring ace Bradley Beal and are currently out of the postseason picture. This is good news again unless the former Lakers Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, have the games of their lives when they return to the L.A. area.
The last game of the week for the Lakers is a match against the Phoenix Suns in Arizona. The Suns won’t have Chris Paul with them, which is something the Lakers could take advantage of. Will the Lakers win all four of their games this week? That would be a perfect scenario if they did but winning at least two would be considered a success.
Only two games for this day but both are worth watching. Brooklyn Nets facing the Philadelphia 76ers in Wells Fargo Arena is easily the headline of the week. James Harden, the new 76er, will be facing his former team one month after the trade happened. Would it be better if Ben Simmons, a key piece of the trade, was able to play? Yes, but his absence won’t matter because this will still be the game to watch.
The second game of the night belongs to the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets. We’ll get to see Stephen Curry, who leads the league in three-point shooting, go against Nikola Jokic, who leads his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. So that’s the best long-range shooter facing a one-man army. Which style of play will prevail in this match?
A glimpse of the future will be on display in the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies game. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Ja Morant will be the faces of the league one day, so this match-up should be on everyone’s radar. In terms of overall athletic talent, one would think that Morant has the advantage but Gilgeous-Alexander can easily match Morant’s athleticism and keep it competitive.
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Teams, especially those with newcomers, will have to use the next few weeks wisely. It can take time for a player and his new teammates to learn to communicate effectively, so how fast the team jells could play a major role in their postseason goals. Chemistry is important and it will be even more critical as new key players master the ins and outs of their new organizations.
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