It’s crunch time for basketball fans as the NBA 2020-2021 regular season is coming to an end and we approach the playoffs. But what NBA game dates should we be keeping an eye on?
It’s only been three months since James Harden forced his way out of Houston, landed on the Brooklyn Nets, and created an offensive juggernaut that looks poised for a deep playoff run.
Harden is consistently turning in spectacular performances and has vaulted himself into the MVP conversation even after using some fairly crude tactics to ditch his former team.
With injuries to LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Harden’s teammate Kevin Durant, the MVP race is wide open, and the league’s top players are gunning for the trophy.
Players like Nikola Jokic, Zion Williamson, and Luka Doncic are having career years but with only seven weeks left in the regular season, time is running out.
Here are the five NBA game dates left on the 2020-2021 schedule that you can’t miss and as we get closer to the playoffs, the NBA odds will be updated to show the most current numbers for those games.
1. Pelicans-Nets April 7 at 7:30 PM EST
With Durant seemingly close to a return from a nagging hamstring injury, this game will feature four of the league’s top players as both the Nets and the Pelicans push for the playoffs.
Williamson has been dominating the league since the All-Star break and the Nets’ porous defense will likely be unable to contain his ferocious drives to the hoop.
But, similarly, Pelicans Coach Stan Van Gundy has been unable to instill a defensive identity on his young team, and their up and down season continues. Look for a high-scoring affair in this one as two of the league’s top offenses face off.
2. Heat-Trailblazers April 11 at 10 PM EST
The Heat were clear winners at the trade deadline, snapping up Victor Oladipo for virtually nothing but they’ve been unable to catch fire this season after last year’s Finals run.
This is a real NBA nerd matchup between two of the league’s best-coached teams and both teams are looking to improve their seeding heading into the playoffs.
CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic’s return provided the Blazers with the reinforcements they need to push the West’s top teams. Look out for newly acquired Norm Powell in this game as he slashes to the hoop and puts pressure on Miami’s stout interior defense.
3. Suns-76ers April 21, at 7 PM EST
With Embiid’s return expected in the next two weeks, this game will feature two teams who attack offenses in completely different ways.
The Suns, led by Chris Paul and Devin Booker, slow the pace to a crawl and run a lot of high pick and roll with the court spaced by shooters like Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson.
The Sixers like to let Ben Simmons push the pace and get early hoops but if that’s not available, they’ll often post Embiid 14-18 feet from the basket and let him work.
Make sure you add this game date to your NBA must-see schedule as this should be a great matchup between two teams with Finals aspirations.
4. Nuggets-Clippers May 1 at 7:30 PM EST
In a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, both the Nuggets and Clippers will want to win this one heading into the postseason.
Jokic is consistently able to dominate the Clippers’ porous frontline and the trade deadline acquisition of Aaron Gordon gives the Nuggets another wing to defend Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
The Clippers will hope that “Playoff Rondo” activates his superpowers a few weeks early this year and boosts the Clips to victory.
5. Suns-Lakers May 9 at 10 PM EST
The Lakers will hope to have both Davis and James back for this clash against the Suns and, there’s a chance, they could be fighting for their playoff lives.
Without their two superstars, the Lakers have been in free-fall in the standings and will need James and Davis to quickly return to form to avoid the play-in game.
The Suns’ star backcourt will present a difficult matchup for the Lakers and this matchup could be a preview of a Western Conference Semifinals or even Finals.