HOW TO WATCH NBA GAMES THROUGH APRIL 10
It’s all winding down this week, folks. This is it – your last chance to watch regular season NBA games. After Sunday, you won’t be able to catch anymore national broadcasts featuring the Sacramento Kings or the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Detroit Pistons again until November. Oh, right – that probably didn’t happen once all year long, anyway. The playoff situation is by no means settled yet, either, meaning that many of these final few games will be significant ones as teams fight for home field advantage, to stay out of the play-in tournament or even just to claw their way into it. It’s all a matter of perspective, but it will still make for some good TV. Teams like the Thunder, Kings and Pistons (and their fans) would kill to have any of those problems about now.
(Just as a matter of principle, I have decided not to mention any nationally televised games that feature teams currently ranked outside the play-in tournament. I’ll list them below, but I’m sick of writing about bad teams that get too much national hype. So, yes – that means I won’t be writing about certain teams whose names rhyme with ‘Ticks’ and ‘Fakers’.)
In deference to the NCAA National Championship Game in New Orleans, the pros have not scheduled one single game for Monday night, which is kind of a nice break for the players as they head towards the endgame. Tuesday’s ESPN game is, in theory, a good one as the Bulls will host their neighbors from Milwaukee, but doesn’t one team have to win once in a while for it to be a rivalry? The Bulls are 0-11 this season against Milwaukee, Philly and Miami and are really struggling at the wrong time. If they’re going to make a statement to save their season, this might be the game they have to do it in.
Wednesday night’s late game on ESPN features the #1 seeded Suns going into L.A. to face the Clippers (not that other L.A. team that rhymes with ‘Makers’) who recently welcomed Paul George back to their lineup and he’s been nothing short of terrific so far. L.A.’s superior NBA team is beginning to resemble the group that reached last year’s Western Conference Finals and may get Norman Powell back soon. The Clips appear headed to the play-in tournament but if they keep playing like they have lately they’ll be a team no one wants to face in the first round. Milwaukee has another tough game Thursday night as they host Boston on TBS and Friday features the Jazz – who are kind of wobbling lately – hosting Phoenix as they try to right the ship before the playoffs start. No easy task.
The Saturday NBA TV games will be significant, at least for the fringe postseason teams appearing in them. First, New Orleans will face a tough matchup on the road in Memphis and then the Spurs host Golden State as San Antonio tries to bury the team whose name rhymes with ‘Bakers’ in the battle for the last spot in the West tournament. The season winds down on Sunday with a full 15 game schedule but none of those games are going to be broadcast nationally, for some reason I don’t understand. Look, I don’t make those decisions – I’m just here to help with your television viewing decisions. Watch baseball on Sunday or something. It’s nice to have it back.
Remember that these are only a list of the games that will be broadcast nationally. All of your local team’s games will probably be available on your local broadcasting network, so if you live in Detroit, Orlando, D.C., Indianapolis, Sacramento, OKC, Portland, Houston, L.A. or Manhattan be sure to check your local listings so you can see your team’s final few games before their summer vacation starts. What? I didn’t mention the team names…I just referenced the unfortunate cities that have to watch them play.
All games are listed at Eastern Standard Time.
TUESDAY APRIL 5
Milwaukee @ Chicago 8 pm ESPN
LA Lakers @ Phoenix 10:30 pm NBA TV
WEDNESDAY APRIL 6
Brooklyn @ New York 7:30 pm ESPN
Phoenix @ LA Clippers 10 pm ESPN
THURSDAY APRIL 7
Boston @ Milwaukee 7:30 pm TNT
LA Lakers @ Golden State 10 pm TNT
FRIDAY APRIL 8
New York @ Washington 7pm NBA TV
Phoenix @ Utah 9:30 pm NBA TV
SATURDAY APRIL 9
New Orleans @ Memphis 6 pm NBA TV
Golden State @ San Antonio 8:30 pm NBA TV