Game Guide: Wrapping up the regular season

Published April 5, 2022, 4:45 PMMiguel Flores

A few notable matchups to tune into as we approach the NBA postseason.

Raptors vs. Hawks
April 6, 7:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines (via Smart GigaPlay and Cignal TV)

Two of the hottest teams in one of the craziest conferences in the history of the league clash Wednesday.

The Hawks, rushing to get into the playoffs just like last season, take their five-game winning streak to Toronto to face the red-hot Raptors.

The Hawks have generally gotten better throughout this season. They aren't defensive sieves anymore and their offense has picked up drastically from its disheveled state to start the conference.

Whatever happens, it’s always a good decision to watch Trae Young. He’s been scorching teams lately, averaging 30.8 points on 49.0 percent shooting with 11.4 assists during the Hawks’ winning streak.

On the other side, the Raptors have the re-spiced Pascal Siakam. He’s been the heart and soul of this Raptors season, coming back from injury and COVID-19 to shoulder the Raptors’ offense and defense.

From wild spin moves to long threes, this game should have the highlights. It should also have a tinge of playoff tension as the Raptors (45-33) are currently tied with the Bulls for fifth place and are just 2.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in seventh and in the play-in purgatory.

The Hawks (41-37) are in said purgatory in eighth place. Keeping the Charlotte Hornets and Brooklyn Nets—both just a game behind Atlanta—in ninth would be a huge boost to the Hawks’ playoff hopes.

Lakers vs. Warriors
April 8, 10:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines (via Smart GigaPlay and Cignal TV)

I know what you’re asking; is there any point to watching the Lakers anymore?

Think about this game as like the end to an M. Night Shyamalan movie – the ridiculously disappointing and convoluted twist has been revealed and all that’s left is for us to try and make sense of what happened.

The ghosts of All-NBA Teams past just couldn’t lift the Lakers to relevancy this season due to a myriad of reasons. Now, all that’s left is for them to salvage what’s left. Does this team have enough pride to at least muster a good game against the Warriors?

They probably don’t, but this is bound to have plenty of drama. What’s better than having Inside the NBA rile you up on a Friday morning?

Suns vs. Jazz
April 9, 9:30 AM on NBA TV Philippines (via Smart GigaPlay and Cignal TV)

For some actual solid basketball, the Suns may be one of the best teams in history. They are close to finishing in the 65-win club—members of which are either champions, runners-up, or the 2007 Mavericks—with a current record of 62-16.

The best thing about this Suns team is that it barely mattered who’s available for them. Devin Booker and Chris Paul have both missed time but the Suns just keep rocking their opponents. Kirk Goldsberry’s efficiency graphs have had them on the elite quadrant for every week this season.

They face the Utah Jazz, who are fifth in the West this season. It hasn’t been all roses in Utah like last season when they were the ones leading the West, but the Jazz are still one of the best squads in the league.

Go ahead and watch how the Suns dissect them. It might get close in the end, but Phoenix has shown that being clutch comes easy to them.