Week 21 of the 2021-22 NBA season is upon us. With that, the 2022 NBA playoffs are approaching and teams are jockeying for position. As for teams who are in the playoff bubble, every game from this point forward is meaningful. With that in mind, it’s time to look at the three most important games on the NBA schedule for Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Those games are the Phoenix Suns vs. the Miami Heat, the Atlanta Hawks vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Toronto Raptors vs. the San Antonio Spurs.
Phoenix vs. Miami
- Date & Location: Wednesday, March 9 at FTX Arena in Miami, FL
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports AZ, ESPN
The top two teams in the NBA meet tonight when the Phoenix Suns (51-13) travel to Miami to face the Heat (44-22). This is the second time the two teams have faced off this season. Miami won the first matchup between these two clubs, beating the Suns 123-100 in Phoenix in early January. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson had exceptional performances for Miami in that matchup. Herro scored 33 and Robinson added 27. Miami had 11 players inactive in that matchup, including Jimmy Butler.
Phoenix will not be as rested as Miami for this rematch. The Suns play in Orlando on Tuesday. Miami’s most recent game was a 123-106 win over Houston on Monday. Phoenix is 7-3 in their past 10 games and Miami is on an 8-2 run. Miami has a 23-7 home record, while Phoenix is 23-6 on the road.
Phoenix could be without Devin Booker. He has been in COVID-19 protocols. Like Booker, Cameron Johnson did not play in Orlando either and he is a question mark for Miami. Chris Paul is also out of the lineup. Miami is fairly healthy.
With the players, Phoenix is missing and the fact they played on Tuesday, I’m going with Miami.
Pick: Miami to beat Phoenix.
Atlanta vs. Milwaukee
- Date & Location: Wednesday, March 9 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI
- Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Bally Sports WI, Bally Sports SE-ATL, NBA League Pass
The Atlanta Hawks look to move up the Eastern Conference standings tonight when they travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks. Atlanta is the No. 10 team in the East, the Bucks sit in the No. 3 spot in the conference. Despite their places in the standings, Atlanta is 2-0 this season against Milwaukee, they defeated the Bucks in November (120-100) and again in January (121-114). Both of those games took place in Atlanta. The Hawks are 19-13 at home, but they have struggled on the road, where their record is 12-20. Milwaukee’s home record is 23-12.
Atlanta is 5-5 in their past 10 games, four of their five losses in that stretch have come on the road. The Bucks are 6-4 in their 10 most recent outings and three of their losses have been at home. Milwaukee played at Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Atlanta had a rest day after losing 113-110 in overtime to Detroit, who have the third-worst record in the NBA.
Trae Young has had a great season for Atlanta. He is averaging 27.8 points, but after him, the next highest scorer on the team is John Collins with 16.6 points per game. Milwaukee is led by 2022 NBA MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 29.2 points per game.
Atlanta is not a deep team and that will hurt them against the defending NBA Champions.
Pick: Milwaukee to beat Atlanta.
Toronto vs. San Antonio
- Date & Location: Wednesday, March 9 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Bally Sports SW-SA, TSN, NBA League Pass
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The Toronto Raptors look to hold on to their potential playoff spot when they travel to San Antonio to meet the Spurs. Meanwhile, the Spurs, who are outside the playoff race as the 2022 NBA season speeds toward its end, hope to make up some ground and secure a spot in the 2022 NBA postseason.
Toronto is the No. 7 team in the Eastern Conference (34-30). San Antonio is No. 12 in the west (25-40). The Raptors have been struggling as of late with a 3-7 record in their past 10 games. San Antonio is 5-5 in their 10 most recent contests.
The Raptors got some good news ahead of this game as No. 2 scorer, Fred VanVleet is expected to return to action in San Antonio. VanVleet, who has averaged 21.4 points per game, has not played since February 26.
This is the second meeting of these teams in 2022. San Antonio defeated Toronto in the first game of the year, beating them 129-104 in Toronto. The Spurs pulled out of a four-game losing skid on Monday with a 117-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, Toronto enters this contest with losses in their past three games.
I think Toronto is the deeper team and will end their losing skid.
Pick: Toronto to beat San Antonio
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