With the trade deadline this week, many teams are looking to improve their rosters or shed expiring contracts. Two big trades have already happened. The Clippers sent Blake Griffin to the Pistons and the Bulls shipped Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans. Many teams have played over fifty games this season. Teams are competing for playoff position and others are playing their young players more. Four of the five games are match-ups of playoff teams. Our last game features two teams on the outside looking in, and fighting for the last spot.
The injury bug has bitten two Eastern Conference playoff teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost forward Kevin Love for eight weeks with a fractured hand. Also, the Wizard will be without All-Star guard John Wall for six weeks after a knee procedure.
The hot Washington Wizards travel to Indianapolis to take on the Pacers. With John Wall out, the Wizards have won four in a row. The Wiz sit at number four, just one game up on the Pacers. The Pacers have won four of their last five. Indiana has played well at home this season with a 19-10 record. This is a big game for both teams fighting for home court in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The struggling Thunder head to Oakland to take on the Warriors. The Thunder are sixth in defense (102.7 points/game) whereas the Warriors are first in offense (115.6 points/game). Both teams are in the playoff race, The Warriors are first in the west and the Thunder are fifth. The Thunder have struggled on the road at 11-15. Another reason to watch the game is the match-up between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. These teams don’t like each other.
The Timberwolves travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. The Cavs have been struggling. They have loss six of their last ten. The Timberwolves come in winners of their last two. Both teams have offensive firepower, Cavs score 109.2 points/game (5th) and the T-Wolves 109.0 points/game (6th). As of Monday, the T-Wolves are fourth in the west and sit a half game back of the third spot.
Who: Boston Celtics @ Washington Wizards
Time: 7:00 PM
How to Watch: TNT
A game between division leaders, the Celtics travel to Washington to take on the Wizards. Entering Monday, the Celtics lead the eastern conference and are seven and a half games up on the Wizards. The Celtics are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They give up 98.5 points/game (2nd). The Wizards are ninth in the league in points per game (107.4). This is another, game between playoff-caliber teams.
A game between teams looking to get back in the playoff hunt, the Clippers take on the Pistons. By the way, this is the first match-up between Blake Griffin and his old team the Clippers. As of Monday, both teams are sitting at the ninth seed in their respective conferences. The Clippers are a game back of the Denver Nuggets whereas the Pistons are a half-game back of the 76ers. This is a game between one top ten offense and one top ten defense, the Clippers are scoring 107 points/game (7th) and the Pistons give up 103.1 points/game (7th). A big game between two teams that just made a trade together a little more than a week ago.
*All Times Eastern
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