The two best teams in the NBA meet on Friday night, which could be a preview of the 2020 NBA Finals. It’s also rematch time for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, who host the Greek Freak and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks edged out the Lakers in December, but now it’s payback time for LeBron and Anthony Davis.
Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans play twice this weekend. The Pelicans are stuck in a three-game skid with a playoff berth fading fast.
What happens when two of the NBA’s top young shooters square off? You have a chance to see two prolific scorers, Trae Young and Bradley Beal, go for 50 points each in an impending shootout between the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards.
Friday, March 6
Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics
Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans
Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks
Milwaukee Bucks at LA Lakers
Saturday, March 7
Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers
Sunday, March 8
New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves
LA Lakers at LA Clippers
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics
Meanwhile, in the Western Conference playoff race, only a half-game separates the Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacramento Kings on the bubble. Both teams are chasing rookie Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The two LA-based teams meet on Sunday to determine who’s really the best team in the City of Angels. The Clippers have won six games in a row and recently surged into second place in the Western Conference, but trail the Lakers by five games.
NBA Friday: Greek Freak/LeBron Finals Preview
Atlanta Hawks (19-44) at Washington Wizards (22-39)… Two bad teams meet with two sensational scorers, Trae Young (29.6 ppg) and Bradley Beal (30.4 ppg), who can each score 50 points without much effort. We’d love to see the NBA’s second-best and third-best scorers erupt simultaneously.
Utah Jazz (39-22) at Boston Celtics (42-19)… Kemba Walker should be available in this battle between two playoff-bound teams. The Celtics sent their JV-squad (no Jayson Tatum, nor Walker) to beat the lowly Cleveland Cavs this week. The big question surrounds Marcus Smart. How long will he be suspended after confronting officials for being bad at their jobs?
Miami Heat (40-22) at New Orleans Pelicans (26-36)… The Heat struggle on the road (13-18), but the Pelicans are a weird team that plays better on the road than at home in New Orleans. Zion Williamson and the Pelicans lost three straight and fell five games back in the playoff hunt.
Memphis Grizzlies (31-31) at Dallas Mavericks (38-25)… The Grizzlies opened a 3.5-game lead against the chase pack on the Western Conference bubble. The Griz head to Dallas to take on triple-double machine, Luka Doncic. Doncic, 21, recently set a Mavericks franchise record with his 22nd career triple-double. Crazy to think he snatched the Mavs new record in less than two seasons.
Milwaukee Bucks (53-9) at LA Lakers (47-13)… The Greek Freak will be in Hollywood for a potential NBA Finals preview between the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers. The Bucks need 17 wins in their final 20 games to reach the 70-win plateau. They probably can’t get there without a win in LA. The Greek Freak edged out LeBron back in December, 111-104. Now, it’s time for LeBron and AD to find out which of their teammates are ready to unleash some payback.
NBA Saturday: West Bubble, Kings/Blazers
Sacramento Kings (27-35) at Portland Trail Blazers (28-35)… What happens when two bubble teams meet? You get playoff-like atmosphere for two teams chasing the Memphis Grizzlies for the #8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Damian Lillard returned to the lineup after a groin injury kept him out for the last few weeks. Dame is ready to make a run in the final 20 games of the season.
NBA Sunday: LA Funday, Zion vs. Ja
New Orleans Pelicans (26-26) at Minnesota Timberwolves (19-42)… Zion Williamson heads to Minneapolis to play the second-worst team in the west, who recently lost their top player (Karl-Anthony Towns) to a wrist injury.
LA Lakers (47-13) at LA Clippers (43-19)… The Battle of LA features Kawhi Leonard vs. LeBron James, so long as it’s not time for Kawhi to take a night off due to “load management.”
Oklahoma City Thunder (38-24) at Boston Celtics (42-19)… Billy Donovan vs. Brad Stevens. I always wondered who would win if those two coaches played each other one-on-one. The Celtics are the #3 seed in the east, and the Thunder are the #5 seed in the west. Donovan, an NBA Coach of the Year candidate, guided the Thunder to a playoff spot when everyone expected them to be one of the worst teams in the league after trading Paul George and Russell Westbrook.