No NBA on Tuesday due to the NCAA tournament final means we get a massive 13 game slate this Wednesday, the 4th of April! There’s still so much on the line for so many teams vying for playoffs spots so every game from here out is super important! We preview Wednesday’s key matchups and give our tips below.
The Raptors currently sit just two games clear of Boston in the top spot of the Eastern Conference standings. With six games still to play for each game, they can easily still drop the top spot, especially with a few losable games against the likes of Cleveland, Boston, Indiana and Miami to come. Cleveland have been fantastic of late, winning 8 of their last 10 games and taking some massive scalps in the process. The return of Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson has really given the Cavs a boost and they are arguably as healthy as they have been all season at the moment.
Toronto have struggled of late, winning just 6 of their last 10 games including a 132-129 away loss to the Cavs. The one positive for the Raptors is that they currently have no injuries to speak of, but they will be in Cleveland for this one, where they haven’t won in their last three attempts. In fact, Cleveland have defeated Toronto in 5 of their last 6 games at all venues.
LeBron James has been playing on another level over the past few weeks in an attempt to drag his team to a top three Eastern Conference seeding. They currently sit just one game clear of Philly and will need to continue winning to ensure they finish as high as possible. We like LeBron to take over here and earn the home win for the Cavs.
Its been tough to get a read on Golden State lately. They have won just five of their last 10 games and been battling through some injuries that have seen them concede any hopes of finishing on top of the Western Conference to the Rockets. The big four of Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have all faced injury problems over the past month and only Green is a certainty to play Wednesday.
The Thunder seemed to have come good at the right time of year. With no current injuries to speak of, the Thunder will be looking to make a late play at the Western Conference top four, as they currently trail the Spurs by just one game in the loss column.
The Thunder are one of just five teams in the NBA with only four games left to play, so they’ll want to make sure they finish the season strong with the top four seeding and a home court first round in their sights. We think they cover here against an undermanned and under invested Warriors team.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has put forward his case for coach of the year honours over the past month of so of play. Battling injuries to Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis and of course Gordon Hayward, Stevens has managed to keep the Celtics in second spot in the East, winning seven of their last 10 games.
The Bucks currently sit four games clear of Detroit with just five games remaining so unless they implode, they should have a spot in the playoffs locked up. They have won just 5 of their last 10 games and are limping to the playoffs, where they will likely meet Toronto in the first round.
Tough game to call here, The Bucks desperately need a win to secure a playoffs birth but Boston have managed to play some great basketball in the absence of Irving, especially away from home where they record is 28-10 on the season. We like them to take this one as underdogs.
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