On the Schedule: Battles of the Point Guards Russell Westbrook vs. Derrick Rose and Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams
What to watch for on tonight's NBA schedule.
Oklahoma City vs. Chicago: Both teams are intriguing — the Bulls are playing well, the young Thunder are threatening to make the playoffs in the loaded West — but the best individual matchup will focus on dynamic PGs Derrick Rose of Chicago and Russell Westbrook of OKC. Both are freakish athletes in their second year, and while Rose's numbers are strong, Westbrook has developed into a bit more efficient a point guard, averaging 7.3 assists and 3.1 turnovers to Rose's 5.7/2.8.
Atlanta vs. Miami: The top four in the East — Boston, Orlando, Cleveland and Atlanta — were thought to be locked into their positions. The Heat, however, are closing the gap a bit on Atlanta for the fourth seed, only trailing the Hawks by 3.5 games.
New Orleans vs. Utah: Draft-mates Chris Paul and Deron Williams will always have their careers linked, and will always deliver classic games when they play. While Rose and Westbrook are two of the upstarts, Paul and Williams aren't exactly grizzled vets — they are two of the younger stars in the league as well, although with more distinguished pedigrees. Paul is trying to lead the Hornets back into playoff contention. They trial Utah and Oklahoma City by two games for the eighth spot in the West.
Portland vs. LA Clippers: Hey, not every matchup can have playoff implications. The Blazers are still among the West's best despite losing their top two centers for the year and the Clippers continue to underachieve.