As the calendar flips over to a new week, it’s time once again to scan the schedule and see when the best games are happening. It’s going to be a hectic and messy week because, aside from the NBA action, basketball fans around the globe will be too busy filling up those freshly printed NCAA brackets. Looks like the NBA will have to take a backseat for now.
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March 14 and 16
Battle of the Big Boys. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers will be going head-to-head against Nikola Jokic and then face rookie Evan Mobley two days later. Embiid will definitely need at least one day of rest after these two heavy-weight encounters. Maybe Doc Rivers and the coaching staff will reward him with his much-deserved day-off if they win both games.
Have you seen Jokic play lately? His numbers across the board have been insane and will be in MVP conversations when the regular season ends. He had back-to-back triple-doubles recently including an outing where he had three steals and four blocks. He scored 46 and 32 points in those games. His performance is enough to provide some sleepless nights for upcoming opponents.
Battle of the Bottom. There’s only one game on this day and it happens to be a game between the two teams found at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. The Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic face off for the fourth and final time this season. Maybe this game could provide some hype since both teams will be trying their best to avoid last place.
Clear your schedules and make way for the Ja Morant and Trae Young showdown. When both players are on the floor, you know something new or spectacular is going to happen. Fans will be expecting 40-point scoring performances and a lot of those “did you see that” moments. Anytime young players can go out there and put up impressive offensive numbers, it just grabs everyone’s attention.
Dump the Slump
The good thing about a slump is that one day, they’ll end. Teams or players go through that every season. Based on the last few weeks, you could say that the Golden State Warriors are in a slump right now. They can’t seem to put beatable opponents away and only have three wins in their last ten games including that triumph in Colorado. Even the Brooklyn Nets are in a slump too. Yes, they just beat the 76ers but that was just win number five in their last 22 games. That will change soon and their slumps could end earlier than expected.
The Warriors have two winnable games this week. One against the Washington Wizards and the other against the San Antonio Spurs. These are easy wins if the real Warriors show up. The Nets have two winnable games too. They have to beat the Magic in Orlando and the Portland Trail Blazers in a home game especially since the squad from Brooklyn is sitting too close to that tenth spot in the standings. If the Nets don’t make a deep playoff run, it will be a big blow to the fans. The postseason won’t be the same without a scoring machine like Kevin Durant.
Follow Joey Almendras on Twitter @Buyaw
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