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Peripheral Vision - Saturday's games to watch

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There's one month remaining in the NBA regular season, and there are precious few chances to make up any significant ground for the teams left in the chase.

The Eastern Conference has 9 teams with any prayer left to make the playoffs, so most teams are simply jockeying for position now.  Here's what's left to watch for today in our region;

Orlando Magic at Washington Wizards, 7pm EST
Orlando has been unstoppable for the last three weeks, having won 7 games in a row. Their problem is that they haven't been able to gain ground on the Cavaliers, as they still sit five games out of first place in the East. The Magic needs all the stars to align to win the East, so they're probably content with capturing the 2nd seed. Washington should be no challenge for Orlando today.

Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks,7pm EST
The Hawks are playing great basketball right now and are tied with Boston for the third seed in the East. They are probably content with allowing Orlando to win the division and focus their energy on holding off the Celtics, and with the way the Magic are playing, that's a wise thought. They are 4 games behind Orlando and 6 games ahead of 5th-seed Milwaukee. All that's left for Atlanta to fight for is whether they'll be third or fourth in the East. The Pistons should be dispatched easily today if they want that third slot.

Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors, 1030pm EST
Raptor fans, here's the bad news. You've lost 7 of 10 and slipped from the fifth seed to the 8th seed in just three weeks time. The good news? Chicago sucks worse than you are have fallen deeper, occupying the 9th slot in the East and a ticket home. Toronto has a two-game lead for the final playoff position, and they have to turn it around immediately. Their reward if they continue to flounder? Either a ticket home for the playoffs, or a date with the Cavaliers. Playing Golden State will show whether or not they're serious about their commitment.