This week has provided more definition in the split of the Eastern conference. Toronto and Boston clinched their playoff spots while the logjam continued as 4 wins separating 3rd from 8th.
Similarly, in the West, the Rockets have secured their spot in the playoffs with Golden State a mere win away from locking up theirs. The battle for the rest of the playoff spots still remains hotly contested in both conferences.
Even though Boston has clinched its playoff spot, it would be even sweeter knowing they could secure home field throughout the playoffs. The motivation is well and truly there for the Celtics especially given their recent loss to the Pacers earlier in the week.
The Wizards are a game behind the Cavaliers in fifth spot, and overtaking them on the ladder will mean home-court advantage when its playoff time.
John Wall's timely return has given pundits high hopes for this squad as their up and down results should in effect become more consistent with their floor general back from injury. Unfortunately for Washington it'll be their second game off a back to back.
The Celtics will have three days rest before this one and they're the home team!
No need to look too far into this one with fatigue headlining our reasoning for both games this week.
Tip: Boston Celtics -6
How about these Lakers, they won 7 of 9 earlier in the month and have looked mighty competitive in the games they lost against the Nuggets and Trail Blazers.
The Lakers routed the Cavs and were up by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Golden State has recently hit a small hurdle with Curry's injury earlier this week and dropped the ball against the upstart Timberwolves and the Trail Blazers in quick succession. With that said, the Warriors are understandably coasting to the playoffs and choose which games to step up for.
Introducing the nationally televised game. With all eyes on the Warriors they'll be putting in a max effort performance against a Lakers squad who has gotten a lot of positive press recently.
Unfortunately for the Lakers they'll be on their fifth game in eight days, third game in four days and the second of a back-to-back. The Warriors have a two-day rest advantage
This one is going to get ugly fast. Back the Warriors even at the extended line.
Tip: Golden State Warriors-12