There are just two games on tap tonight with the first of the double-header carrying playoff implications for both. The second features one much-improved team taking on another cruising into the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks
Tip: 8pm ET, American Airlines Center, Dallas TX
With Oklahoma City’s recent inconsistency and long-term injury issues, the San Antonio Spurs (60-18) have been able to largely cruise to the top record in the NBA.
Dallas, however, are engaged in an enthralling battle for the final two playoff slots in the West with the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies. Dallas still has to play both over this final weekend of the season, two games that will essentially decide which of the trio has to sit on the sidelines until October.
Dallas have been on a roll lately that has allowed them to take the reigns in the race for the playoffs – Memphis is still on the outside though their chances look much better after they toppled Miami – winning four straight games and seven of their last ten.
San Antonio look to be without Tony Parker and Manu Ginobilli left the blowout loss in Minnesota early with after coach Gregg Popovich said he was “kneed in the back of the knee”.
We also get treated to one more Dirk Nowitzki vs Tim Duncan meeting as both approach the end of their storied careers. One is the European prodigy who finally came good in 2011 while the other is The Big Fundamental, one of the most consistent performers in the history of the sport.
Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors
Tip: 10:30pm ET, OracleArena, Oakland CA
The Warriors welcome the Nuggets to OracleArena in the second of tonight’s two games.
Golden State is safely into the playoffs and only one game back in the loss column of the fifth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, so despite the playoffs being all-but clinched, they still can jump up. They are also only two losses better off than the seventh-seeded Mavericks and tied in the wins column.
Denver endured a rough start to the season and have been as lucky as anyone when it comes to injuries, losing four key players to season-ending injuries along the way.
New head coach Brian Shaw looked out of his depth over the first half of the season but has steadied the ship and has reaped the benefits of his players buying into his system. Kenneth Faried, once dropped to the bench for his perceived poor play, is back to being a dominant force inside and the engine room of the Nuggets’ defense.