Week 21 of the 2022 NBA season comes to a close this weekend. With the Phoenix Suns securing the first playoff spot of the 2022 NBA postseason, things are heating up as teams jockey for playoff position.
Toronto vs. Phoenix
- Date & Location: Friday, March 11 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ
- Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Bally Sports AZ, SN, NBA League Pass
The Phoenix Suns became the first team to clinch a spot in the 2022 NBA Playoffs with their win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Phoenix, who fell short in the NBA Finals last season, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks, are the No. 1 team in the league with a 53-13 record. The Suns face the Toronto Raptors tonight. The Raptors are the No. 7 team in the Eastern Conference and are fighting for a playoff position.
The Raptors are on a 4-6 run in their past 10 games. They are coming off a 119-104 win over San Antonio on Wednesday. That victory ended a three-game losing skid for Toronto. On a positive note, the team got Fred VanVleet back against the Spurs. VanVleet had missed the five previous games. He contributed 26 points in the win over San Antonio over 34 minutes of play.
Phoenix is 7-3 in their past 10 games. That run includes back-to-back losses for only the third time in the 2022 season. The Suns have yet to lose three straight this year. They enter the game against Toronto with wins in their past two outings. Phoenix got Devin Booker back against Miami. The team’s top scorer missed a week due to COVID-19 protocols. Booker scored 23 points and added nine assists in his return to play.
Pick: Phoenix to beat Toronto.
Milwaukee vs. Golden State
- Date & Location: Saturday, March 12 at Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: ABC
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The Milwaukee Bucks are the reigning NBA champs. The team currently sits in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference where they trail the Miami Heat by two games. Milwaukee faces the Golden State Warriors on Saturday in San Francisco. The Warriors are the No. 3 team in the West.
The Bucks are riding their second-longest winning streak of the season heading into this game. The defending champs have run off six straight wins heading into their second meeting of the season with the Warriors. Milwaukee scored a 118-99 win over the Warriors in January. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on fire for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo has averaged 33.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks on 34.2 minutes of play in his last nine games.
Earlier this season, Golden State was hanging with Phoenix as one of the best teams in the NBA. Things have gone south for the club. They have slipped behind the Memphis Grizzlies in the standings and are 3-7 in their past 10 games. The team ended a five-game losing skid on Tuesday when they beat the Los Angeles Clippers.
Antetokounmpo has been a force lately and the Warriors are going to struggle to keep him in check.
Pick: Milwaukee to beat Golden State.
Dallas vs. Boston
- Date & Location: Sunday, March 13 at TD Garden in Boston, MA
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: ABC
Two clubs who are looking to move up in their respective conferences face off on Sunday when the Dallas Mavericks travel to TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics. Dallas is the No. 5 team in the Western Conference. Boston holds the same spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have been playing well as of late as Dallas is 7-3 in their past 10 games and the Celtics are on an 8-2 run over the same span.
The Mavericks had a five-game winning streak come to end on Wednesday against the New York Knicks. The Celtics have wins in their past four games. This is the second meeting between these clubs. Dallas won their home game against the Celtics in November by a score of 107-104.
The player to watch in this game is Jayson Tatum. The Celtics forward have put up 98 points in his past two games, scoring 54 against Brooklyn and following that with 44 against Charlotte. In his four appearances in March, Tatum is averaging 42.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.8 triples, 4.5 assists, and 0.8 steals. The Mavericks are going to struggle to contain him.
Pick: Boston to beat Dallas.
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