Enormous Consequences: NBA Playoff Picture Starting To Clear Up

Enormous Consequences is a daily look at the most impactful games in the NBA's playoff races.

To be honest, Monday night's professional basketball schedule isn't all that sexy when it comes to games meaningful to the playoff race ... and therefore there aren't a lot of games with "enormous consequences" for the losing team. The NCAA Tournament's championship should alleviate any concerns for people wanting to watch meaningful basketball, if that's what our readers are into, but we've decided to do SB Nation's daily rundown of the NBA games that (sort of) matter anyway.

The most important game of the night is also the only one that is being televised on national television as the Houston Rockets are scheduled to play the Chicago Bulls at 8 p.m. on NBA TV. The Bulls have already locked up a postseason berth (and will probably be without reigning MVP Derrick Rose once again), giving hope to Houston as they just barely hang on to the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

There's a big game on the Eastern Conference side of the bill, too, as the Milwaukee Bucks are on the road to play the Washington Wizards. The Wizards have already been eliminated from playoff contention, but Milwaukee is just 2.5 games behind the Knicks (and could creep ever-closer with Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin both currently sidelined).

It's probably too early for scoreboard watching, but the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers would both likely be interested in watching the aforementioned Bulls-Rockets game if they weren't playing a game of their own (10 p.m., NBA League Pass). Utah is just one game behind the Rockets, and therefore a playoff berth, while Portland needs to make up ground as they're currently three games out of the final postseason spot with 13 games to play.

Sticking with the Western Conference also-rans, the Minnesota Timberwolves are also in the market for a desperation win when they play the Sacramento Kings on Monday night (10 p.m., League Pass). The Wolves trail the Rockets by 3.5 games for the final playoff spot as the standings currently sit.

Monday night's other two games are probably going to be better than all four of the games already mentioned in this column, but there aren't exactly "enormous consequences" for the losing teams. The current sixth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies will play the West's top team in the Oklahoma City Thunder in one game while the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks -- two other teams currently comfortably in the playoffs -- will tip off at 8:30 on League Pass.

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