Almost a perfect day in picking on yesterday for The Playmaker. Going 6-1 on the day with the Los Angeles Clippers losing to the Brooklyn Nets being the 1 in the L column. That bring the overall record to 39-22 on the Restart. The Playmaker looks to keep the momentum going as we inch closer to the Playoffs and Western Conference Play-In.
Today's NBA Slate:
Critical games on tap on the slate today. Interesting storylines for today. A East Finals rematch to be televised on ESPN. A possible Western Conference Finals preview on TNT tonight. Five games scheduled today and each game is significant.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns 2:30PM
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz 3PM NBATV
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks 6:30PM ESPN
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat 8PM
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers 9PM TNT
The Playmaker's Picks:
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns
Oklahoma City Thunder already in the playoffs, but are eyeing the 4th seed in the West. One game behind the Houston Rockets for the 4th seed, looks to continue the winning ways they performed on yesterday against the Washington Wizards. However, they are facing the hottest team inside the Bubble.
That hot team is the Phoenix Suns. The surprise of the Bubble. The lone unbeaten team in the Bubble and they needed to be to fighting for their playoff lives. 5-0 on the Restart, this young team led by Devin Booker and head coach, Monty Williams are playing great basketball. A game and half behind the Memphis for the 8th seed and a game behind the Trail Blazers for the 9th seed, the Suns are just about in a no lose predicament as one lost could end their season despite the hot streak of wins.
Playmaker's Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz
An Interesting Western Conference all of sudden in the Orlando Bubble. The battle for a higher seed could be determined off this game.
The Utah Jazz, who came into the Bubble as the 4th seed in the West, now the 6th seed has a two-game lead over their opponent on today for the 6th seed. As the Utah Jazz are eyeing the 4th just a game and half back of the Houston Rockets, will have to turn things around. Losing their last two games, the Jazz can't afford to drop a third straight game.
The Dallas Mavericks, coming off their best game inside the Bubble, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. Luka Doncic with his 17th Triple-Double in that game wasn't going to be denied victory against the team with the best record in the league. Dallas can build confidence off that win today against a worthy Western Conference opponent in Utah.
Playmaker's Pick: Dallas Mavericks
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks
A rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals inside the Bubble, televised on ESPN.
The Toronto Raptors, took care of business against the Memphis Grizzlies on yesterday. Now the second of their back-to-back is East Finals rematch. The Raptors capture another Atlantic Division Title with the win on yesterday and are likely to be the 2nd seed in the East with a three and half lead on the Boston Celtics with few games left. Nick Nurse, who's in the running for Coach of the Year, can rest players or play his players against the top team in the NBA.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who has everything wrapped up in the East, but coming off a heartbreaking lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night. Mike Budenhoizer, in the running for Coach of the Year as well, can rest players or play his players against the team that beat them in the East Finals a season ago.
Playmaker's Picks: Toronto Raptors
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat
A Eastern Conference game most people looked forward to see. A rivalry renewed.
Indiana versus Miami. TJ Warren vs. Jimmy Butler.
Indian and Miami are currently tied record wise at 43-27 with .614 win percentage, but Miami holds the 4th seed in the East and Indiana is at the 5-seed. The battle of the 4th seed is up for grabs, but the more interesting headliner is TJ Warren against Jimmy Butler. Butler said that Warren is not close to his level and that he can guard Warren. TJ Warren has been a man on fire in the Bubble, averaging the most points in the Restart. Butler been out the past two games with an injury but with Indiana on the slate today, Butler should suit up.
Playmaker's Pick: Miami Heat
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
A possible Western Conference Finals preview to be televised on TNT and close out the day of NBA action.
The Denver Nuggets, 3rd in the West and just a game back of the Los Angeles Clippers for the 2nd seed in the West. Coming off a double overtime victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday, the Nuggets had their starting point guard back in Jamal Murray. Having Murray back is a great thing for the Nuggets and the Nuggets could be getting healthy at the right time. Depending on how their opponent elects to play tonight a victory could be in for the Nuggets.
The Los Angeles Lakers, kings of the West, have nothing to play for except to gain rhythm. LeBron James returned for the Indiana game with 31 points and 8 rebounds, but Anthony Davis disappeared figuratively speaking. Frank Vogel could choose to rest LeBron and AD or play them. You never know what the Lakers are going to do as they are just waiting for the playoffs to start.
Playmaker's Pick: Denver Nuggets