5- Celtics/Wizards--Thursday TNT
The Celtics are doing their part this year as they are again amongst the elite in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards were supposed to be at least playoff caliber and bounce back under new Head Coach Flip Saunders. At 7-12 this is pacing to be an epic fail. At 7-12 this team probably shouldn't be on national television every other week.
4- Hawks/Bulls--Wednesday ESPN
The Hawks continue to make their case that the elite class in the east should be 4 teams, not 3. The Bulls have been uninspiring this year but since they play in the East, this hasn't really harmed their playoff hopes.
Went back and forth between this being the #2 or #3 game this week but the Magic are on TV twice this week and play a better team (Phoenix) the other time. The Magic seem destined for another showdown with Boston for conference supremacy (so far this is a dead-lock as both teams are 16-4), the Jazz are 12-8 and seem destined for another season of being good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to be serious contenders.
Pretty intriguing match up, the Blazers are still adjusting to Greg Oden being out for the season (i'm sure they wish they would of taken Durant instead) and it will be interesting to see how they adjust to adversity. Despite the Oden blunder, they still have a really good, really young team and this team should break through to the elite in the next few years, with or without Oden.
For the Cavs, just another regular season game, you can pencil them in somewhere in the top 3 regardless of how smooth things go during the regular season. With this team, wake me when its the playoffs.
Out of the five games, this is the most likely Finals preview. The Suns, an expected borderline playoff team, has returned to being one of the elite regular season teams in the West. The Suns have proven as much as they can in the regular season and this is another team that can't really improve their reputation until the playoffs. Just as long as Steve Nash keeps playing strongly, I'll probably be happy about how this game goes.