Your NBA guide for the weekend:
Los Angeles Clippers @ Philadelphia 76ers – Saturday, 17 April, 01:00 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
This weekend’s NBA action will tip off in Philadelphia when the 76ers host the LA Clippers on Friday night. The Sixers are 38-17 and sit on top in the East with Cameroon’s own Joel Embiid continuing making a case for his MVP credentials this season. In his career-high scoring season, Embiid is averaging almost 30 points and 11 rebounds per game and is one of the reasons they are in the pole position in the Eastern Conference.
The Clippers beat Philadelphia 122-112 in their previous encounter on 27 March with Kawhi Leonard putting up 28 on the scoreboard. They will want to make it back-to-back and will count on Kawhi (26 points per game) and Paul George (23.3 points per game) to help them do that.
New York Knicks @ Dallas Mavericks – Saturday, 17 April, 03:30 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
The Saturday morning double-header will continue with the Knicks taking on the Mavericks in Dallas. The Knicks are playing their best season in years and are 29-27, giving them sixth spot in the East. Julius Randle leads the team with 23.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, Luka Doncic continues his magic for the Mavs (30-24). His incredible off-balance buzzer beating three gave the Mavs a one-point win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Doncic averages 28.6 points and 8.6 assists per game as Dallas continues chasing a top four finish in the Western Conference.
Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Lakers – Saturday, 17 April, 22:30 CAT (e.TV, DStv 194)
Donovan Mitchell (26.5 points per game) and the Jazz are still the league’s best team this year and their 41-14 record has been unmatched so far. They will face the Lakers (34-21) who are still without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With Mitchell dominating the scoreboard and Rudy Gobert continuing doing damage in the paint, they will like their chances to push their record even further north.
The Lakers keep pushing and even beat the Brooklyn Nets last week (by 25 points!) with Andre Drummond getting 20 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes on the floor, and Dennis Schroder adding 19. They will want to keep their championship aspirations alive before the King returns.
New Orleans Pelicans @ New York Knicks – Sunday, 18 April, 19:00 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
This week’s NBA Sunday will start early when the Knicks host the New Orleans Pelicans at Medison Square Garden in New York at 7:00 p.m. CAT on ESPN. New York got on a stretch of four consecutive wins this week and their playoff hopes keep rising high. They will be coming off of their previous game in Dallas and we will have to see what will their standings be at the week’s end.
The New Orleans Pelicans are 25-30 and lost to the Knicks 116-106 on Wednesday night. The pressure will be on Zion Williamson (26.8 points per game) to respond after New York found a way to limit his offensive prowess earlier this week.
Brooklyn Nets @ Miami Heat – Sunday, 18 April, 21:30 CAT (ESPN 2, DStv 219)
The Sunday will end with an epic matchup between last year’s NBA Finals participants, the Miami Heat, and the red-hot Brooklyn Nets. It will be Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant (Nets) vs. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo (Heat). Miami is featuring a record of six players of Nigerian descent this season, but are expected to be without injured Victor Oladipo.