With only a maximum of 10 games left to play, the season is coming to an end but there are still important games to be played before the postseason starts.
In the Western Conference the eight playoff teams are all but decided, but with so few games between the teams the seedings are yet to be set in stone.
For the Eastern Conference, the race for the final playoff position continues to rage on between three teams as the Charlotte Hornets continue to pursue both the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic, with the Heat currently holding onto the eight seed.
Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat – Tuesday 26th March 2019
Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic begin a massive four game road trip against teams all in the playoff positions against their state rivals with the eight seed on the line. The Magic currently hold a 2-1 series lead and with a win can take home the tiebreaker that could prove to be massive come the end of the season.
For the Miami Heat a win against the Magic will give them some breathing room and tighten their grip on the final playoff position. Having already dropped their first home game against their rivals, they will be wary of the threat they pose and will need to be at their best to pick up a win to tie the season series. But with Orlando currently on a five game winning streak, it would not be surprising if they won this one.
Denver Nuggets @ Houston Rockets – Thursday 28th March 2019
Just a half game separates the Nuggets – in second place – from the Golden State Warriors atop the Western Conference. The season schedule does not get much easier for the Nuggets after they play the Rockets, but they know that if they are able to win these games then they will send a real message that come playoff time they are a force to be reckoned with.
The Rockets continue to play well sitting at 8-2 over the course of the last 10 games and are on a two-game winning streak. They also hold two wins over their opponents this season. More importantly a win will pull them to within 2.5 games of top spot and apply more pressure to the teams above them. Expect the Rockets to continue their great play and move closer to the top two teams in the Conference.
Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics – Friday 29th March 2019
These two teams seem to be in a straight shootout for home court advantage in their playoff series when the postseason starts. Boston are currently trending in the wrong direction though having dropped their last four games. They are now two games behind their would-be postseason opposition and need to hold their home court to have a chance to take that same advantage in the playoffs.
The teams have currently split the season series with both teams winning on their home court, proving that the last two games against each other will be vital when deciding their playoff destiny. With the Pacers trending in the right direction having stopped a skid of their own, they should pick up their second straight win.
By Sonny Cohen