NBA Weekend Warm-Up: Playoffs are Right Around the Corner!

Thursday, April 6, 2017 8:24 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017 8:24 PM UTC

It’s knuckle-up time. The NBA playoffs are just around the corner, and some teams will be doing their level-best to win – making them tasty basketball picks this weekend.

<p>Ho-hum, just another weekend of NBA action for you. We’ve got major playoff races in both conferences, and first place in the East is very much up for grabs. Good thing; that means we can count on at least some teams to give it the proverbial 110 percent. Let’s see if any of those teams are involved in this weekend’s featured games, because they’re the ones we want in our NBA picks – especially if their opponents are in the tank.<br /> </p><h2><a href="" title="Live Odds For This Game"><strong>Friday: </strong><strong>Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns</strong><strong> (</strong><strong>10</strong><strong>:00 p.m. ET, NBA-TV)</strong></a></h2><p>This one’s pretty close. The Thunder are sixth in the West at press time, but they could move up to fifth and avoid having to play any of the NBA’s true elite in the first round. That would be lovely. They also get to play the Suns, who have <a href="">fully embraced the Art of Tank</a> with 12 straight losses at 4-8 ATS. Watch out, though, because Phoenix is also 2-4 ATS over the past six games. The OVER (5-1) might be the better pick on the <a href="">NBA odds board</a>.<br /> </p><table align="center" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt src="" style="height:380px;width:380px;" /></td> </tr> </tbody></table><p> </p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3068109, "sportsbooksIds":[1275,999993,93,1096,123], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]</p><p><br /> </p><h2><strong>Saturday: </strong><strong>Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs</strong><strong> (</strong><strong>8</strong><strong>:30 p.m. ET, </strong><strong>ABC</strong><strong>)</strong></h2><p>The Clippers are the fifth-place team in the West, and they don’t have to worry about facing the Golden State Warriors or the Spurs in the first round, but if they slip to sixth, say hello to the Houston Rockets. Yikes. San Antonio has an outside shot at the No. 1 conference seed, which they probably don’t give a hoot about chasing down. The Spurs aren’t going to empty the clip against a team they might face in the second or third round.<br /> </p><table align="center" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt src="" style="height:380px;width:380px;" /></td> </tr> </tbody></table><p> </p><p> </p><h2><br /><strong>Sunday: </strong><strong>Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks</strong><strong> (</strong><strong>3</strong><strong>:</strong><strong>3</strong><strong>0 p.m. ET, </strong><strong>NBA-TV</strong><strong>)</strong></h2><p>This is the second of a home-and-away series, and it means plenty to both teams – especially the Hawks, who are sixth in the East and just two games up on the ninth-place Miami Heat. The Cavs are tied with the Boston Celtics for first going into <a href="">Wednesday’s big matchup</a>. Cleveland might be without center Tristan Thompson, who’ll miss at least the next two games with a sprained right thumb. So much for good health.<br /><br /> </p><table align="center" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt src="" style="height:456px;width:380px;" /></td> </tr> </tbody></table>
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