NBA

NBA Play-In Tournament: This week's games with playoff implications

As the 2020-21 NBA regular season is drawing close to an end, the playoff picture in each respective conference is far from decided.

With the new Play-In Tournament, several teams that would typically be out of the picture by now still have a chance to qualify for the postseason. As a result, there are still plenty of meaningful games on the schedule with roughly 15 games remaining for each team.

MORE: Fast facts on the new Play-In Tournament

Ahead of this upcoming week, take a look at the games to keep an eye on that hold heavy Play-In Tournament implications.

Monday, April 19

Chicago Bulls 102, Boston Celtics 96

The Zach LaVine-less Bulls came away with one of their biggest wins of the season, snapping Boston's six-game winning streak in the process of inserting themselves back into a tie for the No. 10 seed in the East.

San Antonio Spurs 109, Indiana Pacers 94

The Spurs have now won two games in a row to bolster their hold on the No. 10 seed in the West. The Pacers still have a two-game lead for ninth-place in the East.

Washington Wizards 119, Oklahoma City Thunder 107

30 points for Bradley Beal and another triple-double for Russell Westbrook. The Wizards have now won five in a row, tied for 10th place in the East.

Denver Nuggets 139, Memphis Grizzlies 137 (2OT)

In a double-overtime thriller, the Nuggets came away with their third-straight win since losing Jamal Murray to a season-ending knee injury. Despite 36 points and 12 assists from Ja Morant, MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic posted 47 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists to come away with the win.

MORE: The most dangerous potential Play-In Tournament team is...

Tuseday, April 20

Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks

The Knicks have won six games in a row to insert themselves into the No. 6 seed in the East, but still only remain 1.5 games ahead of the Play-In Tournament grouping. The Hornets trail New York by two games for a solidified spot in the postseason, but also only have a two-game lead over the Pacers to remain in the Seven-Eight game in the Play-In Tournament. This is one of the biggest matchups of the week.

Wednesday, April 21

Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers

After starting off the week with a tough matchup against the Celtics, the Bulls will need to steal another one in Cleveland if they're going to stay in the playoff race.

Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards

As two teams jockeying for playoff position in their respective conferences, with two of the hottest players in the NBA in Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook going head-to-head, this will certainly have a playoff atmosphere.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have rattled off three wins in a row as they sit just outside of the No. 10 seed - the final spot in the Play-In Tournament. While typically a matchup against the Nets would be bad news, Brooklyn will likely be without James Harden or Kevin Durant in this one, making it a winnable game for Toronto.

MORE: Raptors' updated playoff picture, draft lottery odds

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks

While neither of these teams is in the Play-In Tournament range at the moment, the teams behind them are not far off their tail. The Knicks have already taken the season series against the Hawks, but this game still holds plenty of value in deciphering seeding for the playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat

The Spurs are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive while the Heat are trying to claw their way out of the Play-In Tournament and into a solidified playoff spot. Both teams will have to bring their A-game.

Detroit Pistons at Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are two games back from the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 6 seed in the West and if they're going to jump out of the Play-In Tournament range, they'll need to pick up a win against a team with one of the league's worst records.

Memphis Grizzlies at LA Clippers

With the Mavericks matched up against an easier opponent in the Pistons, even more pressure is placed on Memphis to try and steal a win against the Clippers.

Thursday, April 22

Charlotte Hornets at Chicago Bulls

Both teams are on back-to-backs as they try and continue their playoff push in the East.

Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks

This could potentially be Anthony Davis' first game back in action, so the Mavericks, on the second night of a back-to-back, could have their work cut out for them in a game that bears plenty of meaning in the West standings.

Friday, April 23

Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks

The Heat are chasing the Hawks for a chance to play themselves out of a first-round matchup against one of the top three seeds in the East. With the season series tied at 1-1 and this being the final matchup, this is a massive game in terms of tiebreakers.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets will need this one with a tough matchup against the Celtics coming up later in the weekend.

Washington Wizards at Oklahoma City Thunder

This is the second matchup between Westbrook and his former team this week.

Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

The Warriors will have a tough test against a Nuggets team that is fighting their own battle for playoff positioning, looking to keep home-court advantage in the first round.

Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers

A rematch of last year's sole Play-In Tournament game, these two teams find themselves separated by just 3.0 games in the standings to this point in the season.

Saturday, April 24

Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks

The Raptors came up short of a win against the Knicks last time they faced off and they'll be out for revenge with a spot in the Play-In Tournament on the line this time around.

Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat

The Bulls will need a marquee win over the Heat to keep their Play-In hopes alive.

San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans aren't completely out of the playoff picture just yet, trailing the Spurs by three games for the final Play-In Tournament spot in the West. The result of this game will heavily impact how things shake out at the end of the season.

Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks

If Davis doesn't suit up for the Lakers in their first meeting with the Mavericks, expect him to be available for this one as Dallas fights to crack a top-six seed.

Sunday, April 25

Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets

The Celtics handled the Hornets in their first meeting this season and this time around, they'll look to create more separation from any of the Play-In Tournament slots.

Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers

The second meeting of the week between the Grizzlies and Blazers, with both games holding huge playoff implications.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards

The Cavaliers are stacked up against a bunch of teams fighting for playoff spots this week, trying to play spoiler for some of these teams.

Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors

The Kings are just about out of the playoff picture, falling five games behind the No. 10 seed in the West. The Warriors will need to take care of business to hold their ground in a potential playoff spot.

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