This weekend’s NBA schedule has several compelling matchups with playoff implications for bubble teams and conference leaders. The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are jockeying for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Out in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns trail the Utah Jazz by one game and the two teams meet on Friday night in OG’s NBA Game of the Week. Other must-see games this weekend include the LA Clippers versus the Denver Nuggets, and the Brooklyn Nets versus the Milwaukee Bucks.

Utah Jazz Phoenix Suns Spida Mitchell Devn Booker Nuggets Clippers Nets Bucks
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker guards Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz in a meeting between the top two teams in the NBA. (Image: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bubble teams are fighting for a shot at the play-in game, especially in a tight fracas in the East among the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, and Toronto Raptors.

NBA Friday
  • Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets
  • Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls
  • Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns
NBA Saturday
  • Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks
  • Washington Wizards at Dallas Mavericks
  • Denver Nuggets at LA Clippers
NBA Sunday
  • Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics
  • Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets

As the NBA season winds down, most teams have 10 or fewer games remaining. This is also the third-to-last weekend of the NBA regular season before the playoffs tip-off on May 18 with the commencement of the play-in tournament.

Friday: Dame Goes to Brooklyn, Jazz/Suns Shootout

Atlanta Hawks (34-29) at Philadelphia 76ers (41-21)… The short-handed Hawks are still without Trae Young, who sprained his ankle last week. Kevin Huerter (shoulder) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (hamstring) are also down. The 76ers have the NBA’s third-best home record in the league. The 76ers trail the Nets by 1.5 games.

Portland Trail Blazers (34-28) at Brooklyn Nets (43-20)… Damian Lillard (28.2 ppg) heads to Gotham. The Nets shut James Harden down for the rest of the season, but they’re still in a fierce fight with the 76ers to win the #1 seed and lock up home-court advantage in the playoffs. Kevin Durant is fresh off a 42-point game in a win over the Indiana Pacers last night. If you bet NBA totals, the Nets have the fourth-best over record in the league at 37-26.

Milwaukee Bucks (38-24) at Chicago Bulls (26-36)… Da Bulls are on the bubble sit in the #11 spot and trail the #10 Washington Wizards by two games. Giannis “Greek Freak” Antekoumpo rolled his ankle on Thursday night and he’s expected to sit this one out. The Bulls won’t have Zach LaVine for at least another week due to COVID_19 health protocols. Without LaVine, their postseason chances are slim.

Utah Jazz (45-17) at Phoenix Suns (44-18)… The two big dogs in the West meet when the Suns host the Jazz. The Jazz saw their lead shrink to a single game, but the Suns are challenging them for the #1 seed. These are also two of the best teams at covering the spread. The Suns are second-best with a 38-23-1 ATS record, while the Jazz are fourth overall at 36-26 ATS.

Saturday: PG-13 vs Joker, Da Bulls Bubble

Chicago Bulls (26-36) at Atlanta Hawks (34-29)… Both teams play back-to-back games, which seems like an ideal spot to fire away at the under. The LaVine-less Bulls can’t afford to lose either of their games this weekend if they expect to trim Washington’s lead. It’s up to Nikola Vucevic and Coby White to pick up the slack for the Bulls.

Washington Wizards (28-34) at Dallas Mavericks (35-27)Luka Doncic recently outgunned Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The Mavs sit in the #6 seed, but have their eye on catching the LA Lakers in the five-hole. The Wizards are 9-1 in their last 10 games. Bradley Beal is back on top of the scoring leaderboard, averaging 31.3 ppg. The Mavs have the third-best under record in the NBA with a 35-27 clip.

Denver Nuggets (42-21) at LA Clippers (43-21)… The hot Nuggets are closing in on the Clippers and their #3 seed. Michael Porter Jr. averages nearly 24 ppg this month. He’s picked up the scoring slack for Jamal Murray after the Nugs lost Murray for the season with a knee injury. Paul George is playing his best hoops of the season. He averaged 27.5 ppg in April, including a clutch 41.4% from 3-point range.

Sunday: Dame and CJ vs Jayson and Jaylen

Brooklyn Nets (43-20) at Milwaukee Bucks (38-24)… The Bucks could shut the Greek Freak down for a few games while he recovers from a sprained ankle. The Bucks and their revamped bench will have to step up this weekend against the top-seeded Nets. Bobby Portis has been a valuable Sixth Man for the Bucks this season and PJ Tucker finally found his groove.

Portland Trail Blazers (34-28) at Boston Celtics (33-30)… Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum battle Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in a Sunday throwdown. The streaky Celtics dropped four of their last six games. Brown has been on a heater in April. He scored 38-plus points in three out of his last five games. Tatum scored 32-plus points five times in the last 10 games since he erupted for a career-high 53 points against the Timberwolves three weeks ago.

Miami Heat (33-30) at Charlotte Hornets (30-32)… These two teams could meet in the Seven-Eight Game in the play-in tournament. LaMelo Ball hasn’t played in nearly six weeks since he fractured his wrist. The rookie is itching to return to the lineup, but eagerly awaiting the go-ahead. The Heat have the NBA’s fourth-best defense, allowing 107.6 ppg, but they struggle on offense as the fourth-lowest scoring team in the NBA, averaging only 106.7 ppg.

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