2014 NBA schedule: Blazers visit Heat, Pacers meet Bulls

A banged-up LeBron James will face a Portland team without LaMarcus Aldridge, while the Pacers and Bulls meet for the second time in four days.

A 10-game NBA schedule awaits for your viewing pleasure on Monday night, and here are the three games most likely to entertain.

The main course: Blazers vs. Heat

7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV

Injury problems have cropped up for both the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers, and making any moves up their respective conference standings has come along with it. Both teams come into a Monday battle having gone 4-6 in their last 10.

Portland has found varied success in five games without All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who will miss the game at Miami with continued back issues. His absence hurts the Blazers especially considering the Heat showed major vulnerabilities in their last game against power forward Anthony Davis, who led his Pelicans to a 105-95 victory over Miami.

The Heat, who will ride a banged-up LeBron James, face the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and with a win could erase one full game from the Pacers' three-game lead on them before the two rivals meet -- Indiana faces a gritty Chicago Bulls team on Monday.

The appetizer: Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies

8 p.m. ET

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a stretch against the three teams -- Dallas, Memphis and Phoenix -- that could potentially flop at the end of the season, giving them a shot at the playoffs. Rick Adelman's team needed overtime to slip past the Dallas Mavericks last week, but the hope might have been washed away with a 129-106 loss to Houston and then a Sunday defeat at home against Phoenix, which overcame a 22-point deficit to win 127-120.

The T-Wolves' defense has been fatally nonexistent -- Phoenix shot 58 percent on Sunday -- and that's bad news against a desperate Memphis team only a half-game up on the Suns for the final playoff spot. Then again, Minnesota's offense has the ability to go off, even against the best of defenses.

The dessert: Pacers vs. Bulls

8 p.m. ET

Indiana beat Chicago 91-79 just three days ago, and this time the Bulls will need to find help for Joakim Noah on the rebounding front. The Pacers had 15 more rebounds and held the Bulls to 36 percent shooting in the Friday game, and they also got a 19-point effort from Luis Scola off the bench.

With a win, the Pacers could lock up a Central Division title, but the real key for Frank Vogel's team is keeping enough buffer between it and the Miami Heat. Chicago, as usual, will ride a forever-irritated Noah in a revenge game of sorts.

The remaining schedule (ET)

Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m.

Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m.

Brooklyn Nets vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 8 p.m.

Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m.

Detroit Pistons vs. Utah Jazz, 9 p.m.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

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