This weekend in NBA:
1) Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks – Saturday, 27 March, 01:30 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
The reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP), Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Milwaukee Bucks will host this year’s NBA All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and the Boston Celtics when the NBA’s weekend action returns to South African television screens in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Bucks (29-14) will look for their ninth straight victory which would get them closer to the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference. With 28.6 points per game, the Greek Freak is the league’s fifth scorer this season and continues to challenge for a third consecutive MVP award.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have lost a couple in a row and will want to turn things around. They are currently eighth in the East, with the Pacers, Bulls and Raptors right behind them. They will count on Jayson Tatum’s close to 25 points per game and on Jaylen Brown’s 49 percent from the field.
2) Atlanta Hawks @ Golden State Warriors – Saturday, 27 March, 04:00 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
The ESPN double-header will continue with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors hosting Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday morning. The Warriors (22-22) are 10th in the West, and may miss Steph Curry who is recovering from a tailbone injury. Curry is the fourth scorer in the league (29 points per game) and continues doing things most of us only dream of. He not only leads the team in points, but also does that with a team-high 47.5 percent accuracy from the field.
The Hawks (also 22-22) are seventh in the East and will look to Trae Young (25.8 points per game) and Clint Capela (14.2 rebounds per game – leads the NBA; 58.4 percent from the field) to lead them out at the Oracle in San Francisco this weekend.
3) Dallas Mavericks @ New Orleans Pelicans – Sunday, 28 March, 03:00 CAT (e.TV, DStv 194)
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks will travel to New Orleans to face Zion Williamson and the Pelicans on Saturday night. Doncic does it all for the Mavs (23-19) this season, leading the team with 28.6 points, 9.1 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game. After losing two in a row, the Mavs will face the Indiana Pacers on Friday night before the early Sunday clash with the Pelicans
New Orleans (19-24) have won their last two games and will face the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, before they host the Mavericks. Zion Williamson leads the team with 25.7 points per game on an incredible 62.1 percent shooting from the field. He added 27 points to Brandon Ingram’s 36 when the Pelicans beat the LeBron-less LA Lakers 128-111 on Tuesday night.
4) Phoenix Suns @ Charlotte Hornets – Sunday, 28 March, 19:00 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
The Phoenix Suns (29-14) continue their incredible run and will face the Charlotte Hornets (22-21) at a primetime matchup this Sunday evening. Devin Booker (25.1 points per game) and Chris Paul (15.7 points and 8.8 assists per game) are running the team’s efficient offense, while Deandre Ayton (10.9 rebounds and 1.1 block per game) is taking care of business in the paint. Last Sunday night, Chris Paul became only the sixth player in NBA history to reach 10,000 assists.
The Hornets are led by Terry Rozier (20.3 points per game) and Gordon Hayward (20.1 points per game), but they will miss rookie LaMelo Ball who has just undergone a successful wrist surgery and his return before the end of the season seems unlikely.
5) Portland Trail Blazers @ Toronto Raptors – Monday, 29 March, 01:00 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
The weekend will conclude with the Portland Trail Blazers (25-18) taking on the Toronto Raptors (18-26) in the early hours of Monday morning. It has been Dame Time for the Blazers this year with Damian Lillard being the second top scorer in the NBA this season (30.1 points per game).
In the Raptors’ squad, Fred VanVleet has emerged as their top scorer putting up 20.1 points on the scoreboard every night while Pascal Siakam (Cameroon; 20 points and 7.3 rebounds) continues being their key player in the paint. The Raptors have dropped to 11th in the East and know that the time to pick up the pace is now as the second half of the regular season accelerates.