Sunday some things got settled — the Knicks locked themselves in the two seed in the East, for example — and now with 11 games on the slate for Monday night a few more things will get settled.
So here’s a rundown of what to watch for Monday night (all times listed are Eastern).
Jazz at Timberwolves (8 p.m.): It’s very simple for the Jazz — win and you’re still alive. Lose and the Lakers get the final playoff spot. (If Utah wins they would still need to beat Memphis Wednesday and hope the Lakers lose to the Rockets. But first things first.)
Nuggets at Bucks, Grizzlies at Mavericks (both 8:00 p.m.): If Denver wins they will have home court advantage in the first round (where they are 37-3 this season). A Memphis loss also means Denver is home in the first round. A Denver win puts pressure on the Clippers to win Tuesday or Denver locks into the three seed (meaning Clippers/Grizzlies in the first round). Memphis is currently the five seed and is tied with the Clippers (the four seed), but Los Angeles has the tiebreaker. If Memphis wants home court in the first round they need wins.
Kings at Thunder (8:00 p.m.), Spurs at Warriors (10:00 p.m.): A Thunder win or a Spurs loss and the Thunder will be the top seed in the West (OKC’s magic number is one).
Rockets at Suns (10:00 p.m.): Houston controls its own destiny — win this game and against the Lakers Wednesday and they are the six seed. If Houston wins and Golden State loses to the Spurs the Rockets lock up the six seed tonight.
Bulls at Magic (7:00 p.m.): The Bulls are the six seed and with a win can move within half a game of the five-seed Hawks. The Bulls have the tiebreak with the Hawks so if they can catch them they would get Brooklyn in the first round instead of Indiana.
Last May, Magic Johnson tweeted that the Lakers chase LeBron James, Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan in free agency. All three players were still under contract with their teams until July 1.
In response to that apparent tampering, the Lakers announced Johnson had asked the team to remove his title of Vice President.
Too little, too late.
William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn of ESPN:
Outside the Lines learned this week — and confirmed with a senior Lakers official — that the NBA fined the team over Johnson’s communiques about players under contract to other teams.
If Drake got the Raptors fined for tampering by pitching Durant during a concert, the Lakers deserved this fine.
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian are dating. There are mixed reports about whether they’re engaged.
No matter their exact terms of their relationship, it brings increased attention to the Cavaliers – who are already in the spotlight as LeBron James‘ team and the defending NBA champions.
LeBron might not welcome increased scrutiny.
Gabriella Ginsberg of Hollywood Life:
LeBron James hasn’t been happy that Tristan Thompson is dating drama magnet Khloe Kardashian, and we hear that the teammates had a locker room showdown before the Cavs’ home opener game.
“Tristan isn’t taking any crap from his teammates anymore. As far as he’s concerned, Khloe’s coming to every damn game she chooses,” the insider reveals. “Tristan told LeBron straight up before last night’s game that Khloe was coming and that was that.”
There’s nothing wrong with LeBron, as a friend, advising Thompson about his personal life. They share an agent, Rich Paul, and that obviously means a lot to LeBron.
But at a certain point, LeBron should back off. Neither coworkers nor friends have a right to determine who someone dates.
76ers players are unsure how to respond to their franchise blocking Sevyn Streeter from singing the national anthem because she wore a “WE MATTER” jersey.
Justise Winslow is seemingly trying to nudge Philadelphia in a certain direction.
The Heat forward posted a photo with himself and the 76ers’ Jerami Grant raising fists and captioned it “WE MATTER”:
I’m unsure when this photo was taken, but my best guess is after the Miami-Philadelphia preseason game – which was preceded by the national-anthem singer kneeling during her performance.
Was Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha making the smart play to beat the defender or just showing off?
Either way, I’m glad he did it.