NBA schedule: Spurs visit Miami in Finals rematch

Christian Petersen

We've got a Final rematch, Melo's encore and an important late game out West on today's schedule.

There are eight game Sunday, but none is more noteworthy than a re-match of last year's Finals. The Spurs visit Miami, Carmelo Anthony goes for seconds in Madison Square Garden and we've got a match up of top teams out West as the night cap. Let's begin.

Main Course

San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

ABC; 1 p.m. ET

The early game is our main course here, which doesn't make a lot of sense food wise, but totally makes sense basketball wise. The Spurs and Heat haven't played in a meaningful game since the Finals and this is the only time they will meet this season in the regular season.

Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter are all out for San Antonio and it's possible that Dwyane Wade will not play for the Heat, but for the guys on the floor, this game is a whirlwind of emotions. They may say the right things--that it's just another game, that they've moved on--but last year's Finals was a psychological beat down, one that may be too hard to recover from.

This game won't match the intensity of Game 6 or Game 7--no regular season game can do that--but there will be emotions on the line and it is still a match up of two of the best five teams in the NBA. Story lines and narratives aside, this is still a very good game.

Appetizer

Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks

ABC; 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lakers have been very bad over the past month. They are 3-18 since Dec. 21 and don't figure to make any sort of run at a playoff spot in the West. Rather, they look like a team ready for the summer and free agency and the draft and every other off season thing that can help reshape their roster.

The Knicks have struggled. They've been at the bottom of the Atlantic Division and they've had countless of underlying narratives ready to pull the team apart. They haven't played consistently well on either side of the ball and that's lead to a very underwhelming record. But Carmelo Anthony is coming off a 62-point night and one of the best performances of his career. All eyes will be on him when he takes the floor at Madison Square Garden, the historic arena where he holds the record for points in a game.

Dessert

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors

League Pass; 9 p.m. ET

The Warriors have put together a stout defense this season. They rank no. 5 in defensive efficiency, via Basketball-Reference, and have survived certain shooting slumps behind that feisty defense. But that defense has failed them over the last five games, a stretch in which they've won just one contest. Think of it this way: they've lost three games in which they've scored 116, 121 and 120 points.

And it's not going to get any easier against the Trail Blazers. Portland has created the league's no. 1 offense, via Basketball-Reference, by surrounding LaMarcus Aldridge's outstanding post game with a creative ball handler in Damian Lillard and knock down shooters in Wes Matthews and Nicolas Batum. There are issues--interior defense and so-so bench depth comes to mind--but the Blazers are very good.

Other games

Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans

League Pass; 6 p.m. ET

Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

League Pass; 6 p.m. ET

Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics

ESPN; 6:30 p.m. ET

Detroit Pistons vs. Dallas Mavericks

League Pass; 7:30 p.m. ET

Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings

League Pass; 9 p.m. ET

More from SB Nation NBA:

The Hook: It’s not Kevin Love’s fault his team is mediocre

O’Donnell: D-Wade is the cause and solution to all of Miami’s problems

All-Star starters announced | Rockets GM mad about Howard snub

Carmelo sets Knicks, MSG record with 62 points

Ziller: The 30 biggest moments of David Stern's career

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