For NBA teams with playoff aspirations, every night counts over the course of an 82-game season. With that said, there is additional emphasis placed on contests in the month of April, as playoff seeding becomes the focus for the vast majority of the league.
With the release of the full 2017-2018 schedule on Monday, there is plenty of intrigue when it comes to specific pockets of the season and one such section arrives over the final two weeks of the season. Teams jockeying for playoff positioning will be forced to expend a great deal of energy to secure victories and the basketball-viewing public will have its collective eye on the proceedings.
There are more than 10 (very) important games that will emerge in April but, for now, we are here to take a look at ten match-ups that will likely decide the course of the playoff seeding in both conferences. Let’s get to work.
Rockets @ Spurs — Apr. 1
We’ll get things going with a bang as two of the five best teams in the NBA square off to begin April. It would be something of a shock if either team approached the Warriors for the No. 1 seed but, if the Spurs and Rockets did battle for the runner-up position throughout the campaign, no one would bat an eye. This could decide things after a (very) long battle.
Grizzlies @ Blazers — Apr. 1
Not every match-up can be as sexy as Rockets/Spurs, but both Memphis and Portland should be jockeying for lower-tier playoff positioning. The Western Conference will be a well-documented bloodbath but, if healthy, both of these teams should be in position to at least threaten to make the postseason.