Peripheral Vision - The Games To Watch for Sunday

Today's a big day for the Cavaliers.  Not only do we have a high-profile game against the Boston Celtics at The Q, but there's other action that could directly benefit (or damage) us.  That's what "Peripheral Vision" is all about - keeping an eye on the games and opposition that could most directly affect the wine and gold as we head down the stretch.

First, we'll take a look at the Eastern Conference Standings - only 8 of these 9 teams can advance to the postseason;

TEAM

W

L

GB

Cleveland

51

15

---

Orlando

47

20

4.5

Atlanta

42

23

8.5

Boston

41

23

9.0

Milwaukee

35

29

15.0

Charlotte

33

31

17.0

Miami

34

32

17.0

Toronto

32

32

18.0

Chicago

31

34

19.5


There are only a few pertinent races left to pay attention to.  Atlanta and Boston for third and fourth.  Toronto and Chicago for 8th.  The rest of the above teams are just jockeying for position.  But if the day goes badly, the Cavs might still be in a scary race for first.

Take a jump below the fold, and we'll get into today's games.

Charlotte Bobcats at Orlando Magic, 6pm EST
When you're done watching Selection Sunday, tune in to this game. Two surging teams that will play one hell of a game. Charlotte has won 5 straight, Orlando has won 8 in a row. Something's gotta give. Orlando is expected to win this one, but Charlotte has clawed their way into the thick of the race....now they're anxious to prove they belong.

Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks, 1pm EST
Milwaukee is for real. They're playing what could be the best basketball in the NBA right now, and they've climbed the charts into a solid 5th position. They won't crack the top 4, but they might not have to. They're good enough to beat the #4 Celtics right now in a best-of-7 series. Indiana is riding out the season and checking out the draft for next season.

Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat, 6pm EST
Miami will limp into the playoffs, but they'll still likely qualify. They're tied for 6th, but with the 8/9 teams (Toronto/Chicago) fading fast, the Heat should be safe for the postseason. But we should watch them carefully, they could be our first-round opponent. They've suspended Rafer Alston for the rest of the year, and various injuries will test their mettle. Despite the effort we saw Friday night, Philly is falling apart, dropping 8 of their last 9 games. Another team hoping for a good lottery pick.

Toronto Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers, 9pm EST
Oh, Toronto - what have you become? Just three weeks ago, the Raptors were the fifth seed, 7 games over .500 and looking strong. They are 1-8 since then and if not for the miserable basketball being played in Chicago, Toronto would be on the outside of the playoff chase. As it stands, the Raptors and Bulls are trying to see which is better - a lottery pick, or losing to the Cavaliers in the first round. Meanwhile, Portland can secure a playoff berth soon, so they will be fighting hard at home today.

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