NBA Games of the Week: Rematch of 2009 NBA Finals Highlights Top Games

Taylor SmithAnalyst IMarch 3, 2010

PHOENIX - JANUARY 26:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the NBA game against the Charlotte Bobcats at US Airways Center on January 26, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Bobcats defeated the Suns in overtime 114-109.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We're into the second-to-last month of the NBA regular season, and what do people want to see?

Possible future playoff matchups, of course. 

There's never a bad time for a quality matchup, and the second half of this first week in March offers plenty of enticing games to watch in preparation for the postseason.

So, let's run down the top five games from Wednesday through Sunday.


Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets, Wed. Mar. 3, 9:00 PM ET

If the playoffs were to begin today, the Northwest Division would have four of its five teams in the final group of eight out West.

The young Thunder have won 12 of their last 14 games, including Tuesday night's hard-fought 113-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

OKC boasts a very respectable 17-12 road record, and they're going to need to play one of their best games of the season in order to steal a win in Denver.

Kevin Durant is coming off a 39 point, 10 rebound game, and Russell Westbrook posted 30 points and 13 assists Tuesday night.

The Nuggets have lost two straight, both on the road, and look to rebound with some home cooking.

The marquee matchup pits Durant against Carmelo Anthony, two of the league's top three scorers so far this season.

Anthony was injured and didn't play during the last matchup, a 101-84 Thunder victory on Jan. 29. 

Durant went for 30 that night, but should face much more opposition with Anthony in the lineup tonight. 

If you like up-and-down, runnin-and-gunnin action, this game is for you.


Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns, Thurs. Mar. 4, 10:30 PM ET

The Jazz visit Phoenix Thursday night in a matchup of two teams surging up the Western Conference standings.

However, Utah has lost two of their last three games, each on the road to the lowly Kings and Clippers.

Williams has flanked one of his best performances of the season (35 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds in the win over Houston) with two sub-par efforts in the losses.

After shooting up the standings in February, the Jazz are back down to fourth in the West, and would face these Suns if the playoffs began today.

The Suns are flying high and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

They blew a very winnable game Sunday in San Antonio (thanks, J-Rich!), but rebounded with a resounding 101-85 win at home against the Nuggets Monday night.

In their last matchup, Jan. 25, the Jazz used a huge 66 point second half to beat the Suns 124-115 at Energy Solutions Arena.

Phoenix got a career-high 32 points from Goran Dragic off the bench, but Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, and Wesley Matthews proved to be too much to overcome.

Expect a playoff-like atmosphere in this one.


Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks, Sat. Mar. 6, 8:30 PM ET

While this may not look all that appealing on paper, it's a possible first-round playoff matchup.

We all know the story of the Cavaliers by now.

LeBron James is having the best season of his career, and is leading a retooled Cleveland team to a No. 1 seed for the second consecutive season.

It's looking as though they'll be without Shaquille O'Neal until the playoffs, which could present some problems with Bucks center Andrew Bogut.

If there is a Most Underrated Player of the Year award, Bogut would win it going away.

The Aussie center is averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds, and just over two blocks per game for the surprising Bucks, and he's helping Milwaukee to a potential playoff berth.

New acquisition John Salmons has been huge for the Bucks as well, and they've lost just once since he was brought over from Chicago on deadline day.

The last time these two teams met was way back in mid-December, a game Cleveland won 85-82.

Bogut was limited to 17 minutes due to foul trouble in that game, and Milwaukee rookie Brandon Jennings was just 5-21 from the field.

However, both teams are rolling right now, and I think this should be an interesting game.


Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando Magic, Sun. Mar. 7, 2:30 PM ET

There seems to be a huge matchup every single week these days, and this is the one for this week.

This rematch of the 2009 Finals pits the No. 1 seed out West with the No. 2 seed in the East.

The Lakers have won three in a row, and hold a healthy six-game lead over the surging Mavericks.

They're coming off an easy win at home over Indiana, led by 24 points from Kobe Bryant.

The Magic will get a pair of nice tuneups for this Sunday's game with Los Angeles, with games Wednesday against the Warriors and Friday against the Nets.

A key for Orlando down the stretch will be the play of point guard Jameer Nelson, who appears to be finally rounding into form.

He poured in 22 points and 10 assists in the huge win over Philly Monday, and February was his best month so far this season.

The Lakers were able to pull out a 98-92 win over the Magic in their first meeting of the season, Jan. 18 in Los Angeles.


Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets, Sun. March 7, 10:30 PM ET

This is still a possible first-round playoff matchup.

The Blazers are sitting in eighth, but still have a chance at moving up before everything is said and done.

They've taken advantage of inferior opponents lately, and have won four of their last five games.

Nicolas Batum posted his second straight strong effort in Monday's 103-93 win over Memphis, scoring 21 points in just 33 minutes of action.

If he can continue to produce at this pace (and if they can stay healthy, no small order), the Blazers will be much more dangerous headed towards the playoffs.

The Nuggets, as discussed previously, have lost two straight and look to regain their hold on the West's No. 2 overall seed.

These two teams haven't met since Christmas Day, a game the Blazers won 107-96 at the Rose Garden.

Brandon Roy and Carmelo Anthony were shooting it out that night, with Roy scoring 41 compared to Anthony's 32.

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