Last spring, the NBA world was denied a chance to see two of the best regular-season teams in NBA history, the 73-win Golden State Warriors and 67-victory San Antonio Spurs, do battle in the postseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder upset the Spurs in the conference semifinals. Will Wednesday night be the last time the Dubs and Spurs play in 2017? I sure hope not, because I believe San Antonio is the only Western Conference club that can give a fully healthy Golden State side problems. Those two are going to finish 1-2 in the West standings in whichever order so they could only play again in the West Finals. If the Warriors take Wednesday's game, they should finish with the West's best record. However, the Spurs can steal it with a win as they already have clinched the season series with a 2-0 lead. You may remember the teams played on national TV on March 11 in San Antonio and both head coaches rested all their top players. I don't think that's a concern this time.
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Hawks at 76ers ( pick'em, 207)
Philadelphia was in Brooklyn on Tuesday, while Atlanta was hosting Phoenix on a seven-game losing streak and learned Monday that All-Star Paul Millsap was going to miss at least an additional three games after having a non-surgical procedure on his left knee. Atlanta is winless without Millsap this season. The Hawks have trashed the 76ers in all three meetings. Millsap averaged 15.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in them. Atlanta has taken the past six overall in the series.
Key trends: The Hawks are 6-0 against the spread in the past six meetings. The "over/under" is 5-1 in those six.
Early lean: Keep fading the Hawks without Millsap. Click here for free daily NBA predictions for every game .
Thunder at Magic (+5, 213.5)
NBA TV game. Oklahoma City bounced back from a one-sided loss in Houston on Sunday with a 92-91 win in Dallas on Monday. OKC ended the game on a 14-0 run, capped by Russell Westbrook's winner with seven seconds left. He had a third straight triple-double with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Orlando lost 131-112 in Toronto on Monday. It was the first game between the teams since the Raptors traded Terrence Ross to the Magic for Serge Ibaka in February. Ross had 17 points. Oklahoma City has won nine of the past 11 vs. Orlando, but the Magic prevailed 119-117 back on Nov. 13 when former Thunder player Ibaka hit the winner with 0.4 seconds left.
Key trends: The Magic are 3-15 ATS in their past 18 Wednesday games. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 5-1 in the previous six.
Early lean: Magic and under.
Bucks at Celtics (-8, 210)
This could be a first-round playoff preview. Milwaukee was in Charlotte on Tuesday. Boston won a fourth straight Sunday (all at home), 112-108 over Miami. Isaiah Thomas had 30 points and Jae Crowder added a season-high 25 points. Boston has equaled its win total from last season and now leads the East. Boston won the first meeting with Milwaukee, 112-108 on Jan. 28. The C's have also won the past two home meetings.
Key trends: The Bucks are 3-7 ATS in the past 10 meetings. The over is 4-0 in the previous four.
Early lean: Celtics and over.
Hornets at Raptors (-5.5, 205)
Charlotte hosted Milwaukee on Tuesday. Toronto won its sixth in a row Monday, 131-112 over Orlando. DeMar DeRozan, selected Eastern Conference player of the week earlier in the day, scored 36 points. Cory Joseph had his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 13 assists. Toronto fell one point short of the franchise mark in a non-overtime game, set earlier this season against Brooklyn. Toronto beat visiting Charlotte 90-85 on Feb. 15 and has taken four straight at home in the series.
Key trends: The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 4-0 in Toronto's previous four at home.
Early lean: Raptors and over.
Heat at Knicks (+2.5, 209)
Miami had a big game in Detroit on Tuesday. The Knicks did the Heat a bit of a favor on Monday with a 109-95 home win over the Pistons. Derrick Rose scored 27 points, Kristaps Porzingis had 25 and Carmelo Anthony 21 points after missing the previous two games as New York snapped a five-game skid. New York beat Miami in the first meeting 114-103 on Dec. 6.
Key trends: The Heat are 9-2 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The under is 4-1 in the previous five.
Early lean: Knicks and under.
Pacers at Grizzlies (TBA)
Indiana hosted Minnesota on Tuesday. Memphis has followed a four-game winning streak (which followed a five-game skid) with four straight losses. It was 91-90 in Sacramento on Monday. Marc Gasol missed his second game in a row with a strained left foot. Mike Conley had 22 points and nine assists. Zach Randolph missed an open 3-pointer with a second left that would have won it for Memphis. Indiana beat Memphis 102-92 on Feb. 24. It was the Grizz's first loss in the series since Nov. 11, 2013.
Key trends: The Pacers are 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 7-2 in the previous nine.
Early lean: Wait on Gasol.
Mavericks at Pelicans (TBA)
If the Mavericks miss the playoffs by one game - I don't think they will get that close - they can look to Monday's 92-91 home loss to the Thunder when allowing the final 14 points. Obviously the Mavs were up 13 late. The defeat guaranteed Dallas' first losing season since 1999-2000, Dirk Nowitzki's second year. Guard Seth Curry was a late scratch with a left shoulder injury. He had started 34 straight games. New Orleans lost in Utah, 108-100 on Monday. Anthony Davis had 36 points and 17 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins sat out again with an ankle injury. Dallas leads New Orleans 2-1 this season with the home team taking all of them.
Key trends: The home team is 7-2 ATS in the past nine meetings. The under is 4-1 in the previous five.
Early lean: Wait on Cousins.
Warriors at Spurs (-3.5, 208.5)
ESPN game. Golden State was in Houston on Tuesday. Coach Steve Kerr has said he plans to play everyone here obviously unless someone were to tweak something against the Rockets. The Warriors entered that game with an improbable 10 straight games going under the total. San Antonio won its fifth in row Monday, 103-74 over Cleveland. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and no Spur played more than 30 minutes in the rout. San Antonio has won 34 of its past 35 at home vs. Golden State.
Key trends: The home team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The under is 6-0 in the previous six in San Antonio.
Early lean: Spurs and under.
Wizards at Clippers (-5, 218.5)
Washington was in the same building Tuesday night against the Lakers. The Clippers probably had the biggest choke job of the season Sunday in blowing an 18-point home lead with about five minutes left and losing to Sacramento 98-97. Coach Doc Rivers rested his three stars a bit too early. J.J. Redick sat out with an ankle injury suffered on Saturday. The Clippers lost in D.C. 117-110 on Dec. 18 but have won the past eight meetings at home.
Key trends: The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 10-1 in the Clippers' past 11 playing on two days of rest.
Early lean: Clippers and under.
Jazz at Kings (TBA)
Utah beat New Orleans 108-100 on Monday. Rudy Gobert had 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks. The Jazz were 15-for-27 from 3-point range even though star Gordon Hayward sat out with a strained quad. Alec Burks also was out for personal reasons. Sacramento had a second straight one-point victory over a playoff team Monday, 91-90 over Memphis. Darren Collison scored 23 points and made two crucial free throws in the closing seconds. Arron Afflalo was not with the team for personal reasons. Tyreke Evans was rested. Utah leads Sacramento 2-1 this season and has won the past two at the Kings.
Key trends: The Jazz have covered only six of the past 23 meetings. The under is 7-0 in the Kings' past seven following a win.
Early lean: Wait on Hayward.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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