NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns ready to make their moves
With roughly six weeks to go until the NBA playoffs, there are still some issues to be resolved. While we have a clearer idea of who is going to cement a playoff berth, it’s intriguing to see who finishes the regular season top of the Eastern and Western Conferences.
Utah Jazz ready to put record straight after Dallas Mavericks defeat
Perhaps it was just one of those nights for Jazz. Earlier this week, the Western Conference leaders fell to a 111-103 defeat against the Dallas Mavericks. After a terrific run in which they chalked up nine consecutive wins, Jazz were below par against the Mavericks. Mike Conley put up 28 points for the Jazz, but Luka Doncic stole the show for the Mavericks.
Doncic was sublime as he drained 31 points, and he racked up nine rebounds as well as eight assists. The Mavericks were ruthless as they hit 23 three-point field goals, making nearly 47% of their three-point field attempts. It was no fluke for the Mavericks. They are seventh in the Western Conference, and looking good to reach the playoffs.
Phoenix Suns know how to handle the clutch moments
The Phoenix Suns, who are second in the Western Conference, will relish facing Jazz this week. Although they were pushed hard against the Houston Rockets, the Suns held firm, and they showed they can handle the clutch moments. The Rockets were electrifying, as they shot 54.4% from the field and the Suns should expect a backlash from Jazz.
Miami Heat have caught fire ahead of Los Angeles Lakers clash
The Heat have been in a rich vein of form of late, and they will give the Lakers something to think about this week. In recent outings, they have enjoyed double-digit victories over the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively. From an offensive point of view, the Heat were very impressive against the Cavs, as seven players notched up double figures.
Los Angeles Lakers need to arrest slide
The Lakers have been in free fall in recent weeks, and they find themselves in fifth spot in the Western Conference. Last weekend, they crashed to a 104-86 defeat against their crosstown rivals the Clippers, and they looked off colour. The Lakers’ opponents are fifth in the Eastern Conference, so this could be evenly matched, but the Lakers need to rediscover their form.
The good news is that Anthony Davis could return to action for the Lakers after recovering from a calf injury which has kept him out since February.
Philadelphia 76ers looking to apply pressure on Brooklyn Nets
Although the Philadelphia 76ers have stumbled recently, they have been very exciting to watch this term. They boast a record of 34-16, and they are sitting comfortably in second spot in the Eastern Conference. However, they won’t have given up on overhauling the table-topping Nets. The 76ers will fancy getting back on track against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Meanwhile, at the time of writing, the Pelicans occupy 11th spot in the Western Conference, and they have a 22-27 record, which doesn’t scream of a side who have bags of confidence. Nevertheless, there have been rumours that free agent guard Isaiah Thomas could sign a short-term with the Pelicans, which could put some wind in their sails.