NBA schedule: Bulls scrap to stay in race
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
A quick look at the seven-game NBA schedule for Saturday, March 23, ranking games by watchability (all times p.m. Eastern):
MUST-WATCH: Indiana Pacers (43-26) at Chicago Bulls (36-31), 8
Even as the Bulls have slid in recent weeks, they remain the foremost competition for the Pacers in the Central Division. That may not be relevant anymore, though; after entering the week having lost four of six, Indiana has taken three in a row, all by more than 20 points. Friday night’s stomping of the Milwaukee Bucks was a statement game, a blowout of a division rival headed ot the playoffs. The Pacers should win the division, but a win here would keep the Bulls within five games. And Derrick Rose probably is coming back soon.
2. Sacramento Kings (25-44) at Denver Nuggets (48-22), 9
The Nuggets should have no problem winning their 15th consecutive game, as they put their 31-3 home record, tied for best in the NBA, against the Kings’ NBA-worst 6-29 road reocrd. Sacramento has bigget issues to worry about than this game, anyway.
3. Brooklyn Nets (40-28) at Los Angeles Clippers (47-22), 10:30
The Nets can clinch a playoff berth with a win, while the Clippers already have theirs. But what makes this game so interesting is that it pits two teams struggling to capture fans while playing second fiddle in their own cities.
4. Boston Celtics (36-32) at Memphis Grizzlies (46-22), 8
The seeding battles in both conferences are intense, and this game has big implications for both teams. The Celtics run the risk of sliding into the No. 8 seed, where they would get an awesome first-round series vs. the Miami Heat. The Grizzlies are in the unwanted fifth slot in a conference with five elite teams after Friday’s stunning loss.
5. Toronto Raptors (26-43) at New York Knicks (41-26), 7:30
This will be the fourth meeting between these teams in the past month and a half. The Raptors won the first two but were edged Friday night by Carmelo Anthony’s 37-ponit showcase.
6. Washington Wizards (25-43) at Golden State Warriors (39-31), 10:30
Here’s a sentence we didn’t think we’d write this season: Sure, … [For more on Tonight's NBA schedule: Bulls scrap to stay in race, click here.]