There are 11 games in the NBA on Tuesday’s schedule as we head toward the end of the regular season. The picture in both conferences remains pretty unclear outside of the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia 76ers are 3.0 games up for first place and take on the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. With a 9th straight win, the Sixers should seal up the top seed. The other big-time matchup is between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.
Here we’re going to go over the important games for Tuesday and how it impacts the playoff picture in each conference.
May 11 clinching scenarios
Philadelphia clinches best record in East with a win OR with losses by Brooklyn AND Milwaukee.
Atlanta clinches a playoff spot with a loss by Boston AND a win by New York.
Dallas clinches a playoff spot with a win AND a loss by LA Lakers.
Miami clinches a playoff spot with a win.
New York clinches a playoff spot with a win AND a loss by Boston.
Miami Heat (37-31) vs. Boston Celtics (35-33), 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT
The Heat have a two-game lead on the Celtics for the 6th seed in the East. With a win, Miami can basically guarantee it won’t have to deal with the play-in tournament. The Celtics are going to be without Jaylen Brown the rest of the season due to torn wrist ligaments. This is a must-win for the Celtics.
Philadelphia 76ers (47-21) vs. Indiana Pacers (32-36), 8:00 p.m. ET
The Sixers, as I alluded to above, are very close to clinching the East title. The Pacers aren’t in danger of falling out of the play-in tournament really. Indiana will likely face the Washington Wizards in their one-game playoff to have a shot at the 8-seed. The Sixers may be without Joel Embiid, who is questionable to play with an illness.
Dallas Mavericks (40-28) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (35-33), 8:00 p.m. ET
The Mavericks are likely going to face the Denver Nuggets in the first round as the 5-seed in the West. The Grizzlies are 2.0 games up on the San Antonio Spurs for 9th place in the West. The Grizz are also just 0.5 games back of the Warriors for the 8-seed. Memphis will look to win a third straight game and try and have a better shot at getting into the playoffs this time around. Remember, last year in the bubble the Grizzlies lost the play-in tournament to the Trail Blazers.
Phoenix Suns (48-20) vs. Golden State Warriors (36-33), 10:00 p.m. ET
The Dubs are trying to fend off the Grizzlies and even have an outside shot of jumping up to the 7-seed ahead of the Lakers. The Suns are only 1.5 games off the Utah Jazz for the 1-seed in the West. The Suns are trying to avoid having a pretty good shot at playing the Lakers in the first round, which wouldn’t be very rewarding considering the type of season Phoenix has had.