Monday May 3
Indiana to Washington
Tuesday May 4
Golden State in New Orleans
The Warriors and Pelicans will play their entire season streak over a 12-day span, starting Monday on ESPN and continuing on Tuesday on League Pass. The Pelicans are currently away looking for the Play-In tournament, behind San Antonio by 2.5 games and Golden State by 3.0 games. The Pelicans are in winning mode if they hope to extend their season to Play-In and possibly beyond. Winning the season series with Golden State is a must – a sweep would be even better.
Wednesday May 5
Phoenix to Atlanta
The Phoenix Suns open Week 20 atop the Western Conference standings and are tied with the Utah Jazz for the NBA’s best record at 46-18. The Suns swept the season series with the Jazz, so they own the tiebreaker if teams end the season with matching records. As the Suns battle for the seed in the West, the Hawks are in the middle of a four-team race for the No. 4-6 seed in the East and look to avoid Play-In. .
Atlanta opens the week in fifth place due to the head-to-head tiebreaker with Miami. The Hawks and Heat are both 1.5 games behind New York for the No.4 seed and on the field in the first round, but also just 1.0 games against Boston for the No.7 seed and must go through the Play-In Tournament to secure a place in the playoffs. The Hawks are 19-11 at home and play six of their last seven games at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, including this game with Phoenix.
New York to Denver
The Nuggets and Knicks both enter Week 20 after winning nine of their last 10 games and sit third and fourth in their respective conferences. This game features two end-of-season awards favorites with Nikola Jokic making a strong record for Kia MVP (especially leading the Nuggets with a 9-1 record since Jamal Murray was lost for the season) and Julius Randle. among the top contenders for Kia Most Improved Player. Both players are enjoying career best seasons and are two of three players (along with reigning double MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo) averaging at least 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists this season.
Thursday May 6
Chicago to Charlotte
LaMelo Ball returned to the field on Saturday after missing 21 games with a broken wrist and immediately reminded everyone why he was the favorite Kia Rookie of the Year before his injury. This full pass for Miles Bridges was particularly ridiculous:
LAMELO WASTING NO TIME IN HIS RETURN! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/u0MTDjqLk2
— NBA (@NBA) May 1, 2021
The Hornets enter Week 20 seated in 8th place in the East with just a half-game cushion over Indiana’s No.9 and a two-game lead over scorching Washington. Staying in the game 7-8 would give the Hornets two opportunities to clinch a win and secure a playoff berth – ending a four-year drought. The Bulls are trying to end a three-year playoff drought, but have work ahead of them just to enter the Play-In field. They start the week with a half game behind the 11th Toronto and three games behind the 10th Washington. The Bulls need to muster a few wins and get some help from the teams facing the Raptors and Wizards in order to get back into contention.
Friday May 7
Denver to Utah
The No. 2 and 3 West teams meet for the last time this regular season with the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Jazz start the week with a three-game cushion over the Nuggets and are tied with Phoenix for the best record not only in the West, but throughout the NBA at 46-18. Keep in mind that the Nuggets are among the best 22-6 in the NBA since the All-Star break, while the Jazz are tied for fourth at 19-9. But beyond the implications for the playoff standings, this could be a glimpse of a potential playoff game; If those rankings hold, it would be a potential second-round game if both teams advance past the first round.
Saturday May 8
San Antonio to Portland
If the season ended today, the Blazers (No.7) and Spurs (No.10) would participate in the Play-In tournament. While Spurs’ chances of escaping Play-In are very low – they are trailing 4.5 games at the start of Week 20 – the Blazers are only in Play-In at the moment due to the rules. tiebreaker.
The No.5 Mavericks, No.6 Lakers and Blazers all start the week with 36-28 records. Because the Mavericks lead the Southwest Division, they win the first tiebreaker between the three teams and get fifth place. Then it’s the Lakers and Blazers, who split their first two games of the season, so the tiebreaker goes to the conference win percentage and the Lakers win that tiebreaker with Portland.
Now that that is no longer the case, the point is that the Blazers – who enter the week on a four-game winning streak – are in a position to exit the Play-In tournament and climb to fifth place. in the West. The Blazers have a tough schedule to end the season, with games against the Lakers, Jazz, Suns and Nuggets on the horizon. Getting wins against teams below them in the standings (Spurs, Rockets, Cavaliers) will be important if they are to avoid being in Play-In for the second season in a row.