NBA Games of the Week (Feb 22 – Feb 28)
Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers
The knee-jerk reaction big winner of the trade deadline award goes to…the Detroit Pistons. Detroit brought in Tobias Harris, Donatas Motiejūnas and Marcus Thornton to help solidify their roster for this year, but more importantly, the future. What this week holds are litmus test games against the two best teams in the Eastern Conference, the first one being against the King and his Cavaliers.
Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers
The Rockets failed to move Dwight Howard at the trade deadline in a move that was brewing since this classic playoff moment. Fran Blinebury of NBA.com reported that after Lillard sent the Rockets fishing in the 2014 playoffs, Harden and Howard have both maneuvered to get the other traded. After dropping 51 on the Warriors and handing them their fifth loss of the season, can Lillard and Portland beat Houston for the third time in February?
Charlotte Hornets @ Indiana Pacers
Last Thursday on Inside the NBA, both Kenny and Chuck said they believed the Pacers and Hornets would miss the playoffs. And how perfect is the NBA schedule that they play a week after those comments were made. Charlotte lost MKG for the season, but made a move to get the reliable Courtney Lee to fortify their perimeter rotation. This game may determine which team sneaks into the playoffs and which team is sitting on the couch in late April.
Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder
The last primetime matchup between these two did not disappoint, and lucky for us, we get to see it again this Saturday night. Golden State loves getting up for these primetime games and have been running teams off the court (Cleveland & San Antonio). However, Oklahoma City has two of the top five (conservatively) players in the NBA. Chesapeake Energy Arena will be live as the Thunder look for vengeance.
Toronto Raptors @ Detroit Pistons
Remember at the beginning of the season when Detroit didn’t have any nationally televised games listed? Well they were picked up earlier this year, and now ESPN picked up two more games. Good for you Detroit. Here’s the second big test for the team post trade deadline, as the Raptors come to the Palace of Auburn Hills with their All-Star backcourt. This week will tell us if Detroit is ready for the playoffs this season, or if they will look to breakout next year.