As we enter the home stretch of the 2012-2013 NBA season each game becomes more and more valuable. Coaches are trying to find ways to rest their star players without jeopardizing games that could lead to a home court advantage during the playoffs. Then you have some organizations that are clinging to the hope of making the post season. Looking at this weekend’s matchups, there are a number of games that are very meaningful at this point in the year.
Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors: Friday, March 8 at 10:30pm
The sixth and seventh placed teams in the Western Conference face off in what is an important game for both groups. Houston is fighting hard to keep the Utah Jazz from taking their spot and potentially falling prey to the surging Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors, on the other hand, are looking to correct problems that lead to a four-game losing streak even though Stephen Curry was playing out of his mind. The Warriors are 20-7 at home while the Rockets are 13-20 on the road. The matchup between Curry and Rockets guards James Harden and Jeremy Lin will be the focal point coming into the game.
Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks: Saturday, March 9 at 7:00pm
Behind the Miami Heat much of the Eastern Conference has been a deadlock this season. This game features the fourth and fifth seeds at this point of the year when the Atlanta Hawks welcome the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games and only a half game separates them in the conference rankings. The Hawks and Nets have had their struggles at various points this year and are statistically amongst the middle of the pack across the board. This game is pivotal in deciding which team has the home court advantage should these two teams meet in the first round of the playoffs.
Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat: Sunday, March 10 at 1:00pm
The Miami Heat have continued to stretch their lead over the Eastern Conference while winning 16 games straight. During this run they have taken revenge against the New York Knicks who were the only other team in the league to beat the Heat twice. Many experts have pointed towards the Indiana Pacers as being the only team with the ability and roster to stop the Heat in their quest to defend their title. Indiana is 7-3 in their last ten games and a meager 13-16 on the road as they will visit the Heat who are 27-3 at home. In what can be a preview of the Eastern Conference finals this is expected to be a physical game from start to finish.
Sitting in front of the television to catch these three games wouldn’t be a bad idea for any NBA fan. The season is winding down and games such as these are must win for one reason or another.