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Daily standings watch: several games to watch tonight

Plus the LeBron sitting watch is on.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

We're coming down to the wire folks.  Just over a week left in the NBA season and everything is still up in the air at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race.  The Celtics announced yesterday that you can now buy tickets to the first round of the playoffs.  They just have to get there first.

I thought it would be a good idea to check in on the standings every single day to make sure you are all up to speed with where we stand and what we need to do to make the playoffs.  So here's what you need to know.

Scoreboard Watching (games of note)

Heat (35-43) beat the Hornets (33-44) last night 105 - 100

Current Standings:

7 Nets 36-41
8 Celtics 35-42
9 Heat 35-43
10 Pacers 33-43
11 Hornets 33-44

Tonight's Key Games:

Celtics (35-42) at Pistons (30-47)
Raptors (45-32) at Hornets (33-44)
Hawks (58-19) at Nets (36-41)
Pacers (34-43) at Knicks (15-62)

Tiebreakers (via Forsberg):

Boston owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Brooklyn (won season series, 3-1)
Miami owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Boston (won season series, 3-1)
Boston owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Indiana (won season series, 3-1)
Boston and Charlotte split the head-to-head series (2-2); the next tiebreaker is conference record (Boston is currently 23-24; Charlotte is 25-22)

What to watch for:

Obviously the Celtics need to win as many games as possible and the Pistons should be a beatable opponent (in theory). It would be nice if the Hornets and Nets lost tonight.  Not sure if the tanking Knicks will allow the Pacers to lose though.

After tonight's game, the Celtics will have a pair of games against Cleveland.  The big story to watch there will be "are the Cavs going to rest some of their stars?"  The answer is "maybe."

Sustaining rhythm could become problematic for Cavaliers when LeBron James sits a few out |

He's not sure of the day, but LeBron James reiterated on Tuesday that he will sit out a few Cavaliers games before the playoffs begin on April 18. "I've always taken a couple games off before the postseason, over my career. I don't know when. That's something me and the coaching staff and the training staff will sit down and go over, what will benefit me, benefit the team," James said after Tuesday's practice before they hit the road for Milwaukee.

Obviously that's a story to keep an eye on.  But it means nothing if the Celtics don't win the other games on their schedule.

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