Enormous Consequences is a daily look at the most impactful games in the NBA's playoff races.
The NBA's regular season is coming to a close, though there are still quite a few teams in playoff contention ... or at least not quite mathematically eliminated from receiving a postseason berth. Six more games are scheduled to take place on Tuesday night's schedule.
Not all of Tuesday's games have enormous consequences for the losing team, which isn't ideal with such a slight slate of games, but there could be some doozies as teams claw closer to the end of the regular season.
In terms of importance, the Eastern Conference games are the ones worth watching on Tuesday night. The New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers are both 4.5 games behind the sixth-seeded Orlando Magic, meaning they likely won't be able to move any higher than the No. 7 seed they're currently tied for at the time. So it'd be pretty difficult for things to get better, but things can always get worse.
The Sixers are on the road to play the New Jersey Nets (7:30 p.m., NBA League Pass) on Tuesday night while the Knicks will take part in the last game of the evening against the Chicago Bulls (9:30 p.m., ESPN). Neither game is going to be easy -- the Nets are not very good at tanking and the Chicago Bulls are still fighting for homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs -- and a loss by either team would allow the idle Milwaukee Bucks to move up to just half of a game out of playoff contention.
On the other side of the bracket, the reeling Dallas Mavericks will try to get back on track when they play host to the Sacramento Kings (8:30 p.m., NBA League Pass). The Mavs, who recently sent Lamar Odom home for the rest of the season, are currently sitting in a tie for the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. A loss would move them into a tie for the final playoff berth in the conference and, worse, a potential matchup with the athletic Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.
The other three games won't have enormous consequences for the loser, at least as far as the playoffs are concerned, but fans of good basketball probably shouldn't miss the first half of Tuesday night's doubleheader: The Boston Celtics are in the vicinity of South Beach to take on Miami Heat at 7 p.m.
ORLANDO MAGIC at Washington Wizards