Enormous Consequences is a daily look at the most impactful games in the NBA's playoff races.
The Masters is happening in the world of golf and the MLB is in the midst of its fourth opening day, but it's professional basketball and the NBA's race to the playoffs that currently has our attention. There are 11 games on the slate to tip off this weekend and, while not all of them feature enormous consequences for the losing team, the majority of the games matter in some form or fashion.
The most important game as far as playoff implications are concerned will take place between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets (9 p.m., NBA League Pass). The Nuggets are currently in the driver's seat as far as the Western Conference's final playoff spot is concerned, but Steve Nash and the Suns could move into a tie for the No. 8 seed if they're able to pick up a win on the road Friday night.
The only other team that seems to be realistically in line for a potential playoff spot out of the West is the Utah Jazz, currently sitting two games ahead of Portland and just 1.5 games behind Denver -- a proverbial no man's land, really, but it could be worse. In fact, enormous consequences loom if Utah is unable to hold off the Warriors on Friday night (9 p.m., NBA League Pass).
On the other coast ... or conference, rather, considering Wisconsin isn't exactly near an ocean ... the Milwaukee Bucks will be hosting the Charlotte Bobcats with big things on the line (8:30 p.m., NBA League Pass). Brandon Jennings and the Bucks currently trail the New York Knicks by 1.5 games for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot, meaning a loss to the hapless Bobcats would not help in their run to the postseason.
The only other game with seemingly enormous consequences on Friday night will happen when the Houston Rockets visit the Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m. in a game scheduled to be televised by NBA TV. The Rockets are currently the seventh-best team in the Western Conference thanks to the magic of tiebreakers, but a loss to Kobe Bryant and Co. would send them back to fighting for their playoff lives.
If games with high drama aren't your thing and you'd instead rather just watch high-caliber basketball, there are a couple of games pairing playoff teams on Friday night. The Indiana Pacers will host the Oklahoma City Thunder to tip off the evening (7 p.m., NBA League Pass) and then the Memphis Grizzlies will play the Miami Heat at 7:30 on League Pass.