Today in Sports: 4/11/17 Preview

NBA:

Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks: This is an important game for the Atlanta Hawks. They are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a half game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks. They control their own destiny from here on out. If the Hawks win their final two games, they’ll be locked in as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Charlotte Hornets are a talented team that had playoff aspirations before the season started, but they failed to live up to the hype. Although they will not be playing in the postseason, they still have enough talent to knock off the Hawks.  This is a game the Hawks cannot afford to lose.

New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers AND Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings: Although all four of these teams have been eliminated from playoff contention, this is an important game for both the Suns and Lakers. Both teams have struggled this season and have shut down some key players in an attempt to improve their draft stocks. Although this should help them in their tanking efforts, the Lakers and Suns are both going into today’s game on a winning streak. The Lakers have won four straight games and the Suns have won two straight games. The Suns are currently 1.5 games behind (or ahead in the tanking standings) the Lakers with the game in Sacramento being their season finale. If the Lakers pick falls outside the top three, it will be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers should be doing everything possible to lose games and keep their pick, but have struggled to struggle as of late. They can’t even tank right, which should concern Lakers fans. Although the draft has a lottery system that tries to mitigate the effects of tanking, there’s no reason why the Lakers should try and win their last two games of the season.

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