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News » If you can only catch one game every night ...

If you can only catch one game every night ...

If you can only catch one game every night ...
After much pain, suffering and issues that have absolutely nothing to do with the Sacramento Kings, we've finally reached the preamble to the NBA playoffs.


  • Hill: NBA is Madness, too
  • Rosenthal: Schilling's case for the Hall


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Top headlines:

  • Lance opts for surgery; Tour in doubt
  • Ichiro, Japan grab WBC title
  • Schilling retires with 'zero regrets'
All of today's top stories >>

Worth a thousand words:

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  • A-Rod smooching ... himself?
  • Shots from the 2009 Iditarod
View more photos >>

With a bit more than three weeks separating us from the opening round, teams are jockeying for position, striving to claim home-court supremacy or desperately attempting to avoid certain smiting delivered from one of the few elite teams.

As this regular season winds down, you've noticed that budgeting your hoop-related time is even more difficult than before. March Madness has prevailed. Warm weather drags you outdoors. Baseball beckons.

So how can you reconcile these issues while continuing to jones on professional basketball? Well, we're here to assist by providing a single NBA game to put in your cross-hairs each night between now and the regular season's end.

We are not responsible if the quality of these games is sabotaged by a particular team falling apart before its recommended viewing.

So, if you only see one game each night for the next three-plus weeks, make it:

Tuesday, March 24

Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz: With a little seeding movement either way, this could become a first-round preview. The Rockets, still attempting to reel in the San Antonio Spurs, could use a rare win in Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, March 25

Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic: In addition to working Kevin Garnett toward playoff-fighting trim, the Cs may be battling to keep the home-court edge in the Eastern Conference semis.

Thursday, March 26

Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls: Will the Bulls' bid to seize the eighth seed be undercut by another remarkable performance by hometown guy Dwyane Wade?

Friday, March 27

Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks: The Celtics may not mind demonstrating their developing road toughness by winning in Atlanta. This also is a homecoming for former Georgia Tech star Stephon Marbury (cough).

Saturday, March 28

Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz: If the Suns are still alive, they'd have an even stronger heartbeat by knocking off the Jazz in Utah. If the Phoenix players like playing really fast, they'll do whatever may be required to keep Alvin Gentry hired.

Sunday, March 29

San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Hornets: In addition to the obvious seeding issues in the tightly packed Western Conference, we'll be treated to Tony Parker vs. Chris Paul.

Monday, March 30

Orlando Magic at Miami Heat: If Jermaine O'Neal flops against Dwight Howard, will he be called out by Stan Van Gundy?

Tuesday, March 31

Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers: Utah's effort to rise a peg or two in the West may depend on scoring an actual road triumph. The road doesn't get much tougher than Portland.

Wednesday, April 1

Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns: If the Suns still have a pulse, the Yao Ming-Shaquille O'Neal showdown could be even more compelling. Shane Battier might throw in a clinic on defense for Phoenix fans ... and their team.

Thursday, April 2

Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets: Can the leadership of Chauncey Billups have the Nuggets pushing their way into the third (or second) seed by now?

Friday, April 3

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers: The ambitious Rockets could make the Lakers' quest to hold the league's top overall seed a bit shaky. And don't forget Yao vs. Pau.

Saturday, April 4

Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers: With any luck, the winner of this contest could avoid opening the playoffs in Boston.

Sunday, April 5

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks: If the Suns have yet to be pronounced dead, this could be the game that keeps them in contention for a first-round date with Kobe. Nice motivational tidbit.
Alternative option: San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers

Monday, April 6

NCAA Championship Game

Tuesday, April 7

Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets: This probably isn't a Finals preview, but it might be fun to watch the return of Rafer Alston to Houston. It also gives NASA a better shot at tracking Superman.

Wednesday, April 8

Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs: Sure, they could end up meeting in the opening round, but how about that showdown co-starring Tim Duncan and Greg Oden?

Thursday, April 9

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers: Here's a message-sending opportunity for the Nuggets to prove they can win at the Staples Center without playing the Clippers.

Friday, April 10

Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs: If the Jazz can't win in San Antonio right now, they may have to win there just to survive the first round.

Saturday, April 11

Charlotte Bobcats at Chicago Bulls: The stretch run for an eighth seed will feature two rookie point guards, a rookie head coach ... and Larry Brown.

Sunday, April 12

Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers: Eddie House vs. Boobie Gibson ... how can we go wrong? If seeding remains an issue by then, the Cs also have the chance to unleash some road swagger

Monday, April 13

New Orleans Hornets at Houston Rockets: In addition to seeding implications, we'll see how playoff-ready Aaron Brooks is when he takes on CP3.

Tuesday, April 14

Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers: Could the Lakers be auditioning the rehabilitated knee of Andrew Bynum in this one?

Wednesday, April 15

Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers: Right, there may be several games that will impact playoff seedings available, but this tilt could shift the balance of ping-pong power for the draft lottery.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: March 24, 2009


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