Watchability Rankings: The spotlight will shine on Golden State
SI.com's Watchability Rankings will give you the lowdown on the must-see games for the week ahead. Here are the top five games to watch for the week ending April 9. All stats are records through March 30.
This week's Watchability Rankings focus on the state of California, which is home to the good (Golden State Warriors and L.A. Clippers), the bad (L.A. Lakers) and the ugly (off-the-court scandals) in the NBA.
Sunday, April 3: Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Portland managed to do something that just seven teams in the league have done this season: beat Golden State. The Trail Blazers handed the Warriors a 32-point drubbing in mid-February—Golden State's worst loss of the season—that gives Portland a better-than-it-sounds .333 winning percentage against the best team in the NBA this season.
Tuesday, April 5: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
It's difficult to figure out where to start with this one. The contest will mark Blake Griffin's second game back on the Clippers' active roster after injuring his hand punching a team employee and serving his four-game suspension, while the Lakers are enduring the post-video leak fallout involving D'Angelo Russell and Nick Young. The Clippers won nine straight games and 30 of 44 (through Wednesday) during Griffin's absence, while Kobe Bryant's final days in the NBA are being overshadowed by a scandal involving Russell, a cornerstone of the Lakers' future and last year's No. 2 pick. The NBA is the best reality show on TV, so it make sense that the drama's headquartered in L.A.
Wednesday, April 6: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Wednesday, April 6: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
In a preview of a possible first-round playoff matchup, Portland plays host to Oklahoma City on Wednesday. The Thunder won two of the first three meetings this season, scoring an average of 115 points per game, so expect a high-scoring affair in their final regular season meeting.
Thursday, April 7: Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio is responsible for Golden State's seventh loss of the season. Gregg Popovich will have to decide whether he wants to rest the Spurs' star players, as he's known for doing, or wield a full roster to try to give the Warriors their first home loss of the season. Golden State's final four games of the season are against the Spurs and Grizzlies as they close in on the '95–96 Bulls' single-season record.