Make sure you catch the race to the playoffs on ESPN. This week the Knicks, Heat, Rockets and more are all under the pump, don't miss a second![caption id="attachment_15232" align="aligncenter" width="558"] Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/AP[/caption]
ATLANTA HAWKS VS NEW YORK KNICKSTime & Date: Thursday 4th April from Philips Arena Coverage: LIVE on ESPN & ESPN HD at 10:00am AEDT (See TV Guide for other games and times) Short handed and struggling for consistency, the Atlanta Hawks are limping towards the playoffs. Enter the Philips Arena the New York Knicks. After the Knicks went through a tough stretch of road games while being short handed, they've corrected the ship. New York has rattled off seven straight wins to close out the month of March. Atlanta has been far from their best and have been alternating between wins and losses for their last 8 games. However Jeff Teague has been a shining light in Lou Williams absence. At this point in the season health should be valued more than playoff positioning, but Atlanta needs to keep winning to avoid the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Watch For: High Tensions These two as it stands right now are slated to be first round opponents. Both teams will be critical of each others set plays in an attempt to gain an upper hand.
CHARLOTTE BOBCATS VS MIAMI HEATTime & Date: Saturday 6th April from Time Warner Cable Arena Coverage: LIVE on ESPN & ESPN HD at 11:00am AEDT (See TV Guide for other games and times) Miami's dynamic duo should be expected back for their match up with the Charlotte Bobcats. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been resting "injuries" since last Sunday, they must be chomping at the bit to play. The Bobcats will be hoping they're not back (unless they are doing something like tanking) as LeBron and Wade will carve up the Bobcats in their sleep, all the more reason for them to return. Although don't be surprised if coach Eric Spolstra rests his players again or decides to give Chris Bosh some time off. They hold the best record in the league and will be the Eastern Conference champions, there is nothing else to earn. Charlotte's shining light at this point in the season is Gerald Henderson. He's been able to score points at an efficient mark consistently over the last few weeks. Carmelo Anthony beat the Heat on Wednesday, can Henderson do the same? Watch For: A competitive game While we can trash the Bobcats all day long, there is something seriously wrong if they can't get up and play against the world champions. If that's not enough to get the blood pumping then what is?
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS VS HOUSTON ROCKETSTime & Date: Saturday 6th April from The Rose Garden Coverage: LIVE on ESPN & ESPN HD at 1:30pm AEDT (See TV Guide for other games and times) For the 2nd game of the doubleheader the cameras go out to Portland as the Trail Blazers are frantically trying to save a season decimated by injury. The Houston Rockets will roll in full of confidence, charging towards earning a playoff berth. In recent games they've leaned on Omer Asik to grab a win. This is because James Harden is resting a nagging foot injury and Chandler Parsons is fighting a bout of food poisoning. Portland are guilty of relying to much on their starters. The first 5 play the most minutes out of any starting combo in the league, showing no confidence in what the bench can produce. This needs to change in the off season and training camp for the Blazers to reduce injuries and to become more competitive. Watch For: Jeremy Lin This time last year Jeremy Lin was rehabbing from an injury which kept him out of the final regular season games. With the playoffs around the corner, Lin will be looking to recapture the magic he had when he lit the league on fire last year.
These are the games you can catch on ESPN via Foxtel this week. Can Atlanta resurrect their season, starting with a win against the Knicks?