The 2015-16 NBA regular season is rapidly drawing to a close, which will soon culminate with Kobe Bryant’s final game, a potential new regular season wins record and the reveal of this year’s playoff picture. A lot can and will happen before the week is up, and it all starts on Monday night with a heavy 9-game slate leading the way.

Nine playoff teams take part in the 18-team schedule, with the biggest game quite arguably going down between the Mavericks and Jazz in Utah. For an expected result for that game and more, let’s jump into Monday night’s NBA preview:

Bucks @ Magic

Line: n/a Total: n/a

Milwaukee heads to the Amway Center up 2-1 in the season series, but there is very real evidence against a Bucks win in Orlando’s home finale. Not only are the Bucks a woeful 10-30 on the road this year, but they’ve also dropped 18 of their last 19 battles in Orlando. The Magic could be in rough shape with Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon potentially out, but if even one can suit up, the Magic could hold serve at home.

Pick: Magic 102, Bucks 99

Bulls @ Pelicans

Line: n/a Total: n/a

Chicago’s season has been a huge disappointment, as they play their final games with the Eastern Conference playoff picture figured out and them not being a part of it. They can still finish strong and that starts tonight with the Bulls taking down a banged up Pellies squad.

Pick: Bulls 107, Pelicans 89

Hawks @ Cavs

Line: Cavs -6 Total: 204.5

Cleveland can claim the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a win tonight. That may not be easy against the Hawks, who are still very much in a fight for the Southeast Division title. LeBron James and the other Cavs stars should avoid resting in this one, though, as a two-game losing streak has Toronto within striking distance with two games to go. Look for the Cavs to step up at home and take care of business, while also making the race for the Southeast Division even more interesting.

Pick: Cavs 104, Hawks 101

Hornets @ Celtics

Line: Celtics -7.5 Total: 208

Boston can still play their way all the way up to the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Hornets enter TD Garden with hopes of taking one step closer to the Southeast Division title. Ruling the Hornets out by this current line might be foolish, but the Celtics do tend to take car of business (27-12) on their home floor. Look for a tight game with a good amount of points, but Boston should defend their turf.

Pick: Celtics 106, Hornets 102

Wizards @ Nets

Line: Wizards -5.5 Total: 212

Washington has been eliminated from post-season contention, so anyone could be sat to close the year. John Wall is already shut down for the season and Brad Beal and Marcin Gortat could easily follow. That still might not give the Nets the edge they need, as they’ve been diminished in their starting five for weeks. Eight straight losses for the Nets probably doesn’t end tonight.

Pick: Wiz 103, Nets 96

Rockets @ Timberwolves

Line: Rockets -3.5 Total: 216.5

Houston is likely out of the playoffs if they lose tonight. Utah is in if they can merely win out, while the Mavs would get in with a Rockets loss. The Rockets can’t hang their hat on Utah losing out, of course, so taking down a young Timberwolves squad is crucial to their playoff hopes tonight. Houston has disappointed all year, but for the sake of NBA drama, they should win tonight and make their final regular season game extra meaningful.

Pick: Rockets 107, Wolves 101

Lakers @ Thunder

Line: Thunder -16 Total: 215

The Black Mamba gets his final crack at the Thunder, who probably will let their star players play considering it’s their last duel with Kobe Bryant. That doesn’t mean this is a close game, however, as OKC is a startling 31-9 at home and has owned the Lakers. Two of the three battles this year were decided by 35 or more points, so odds are OKC at least pulls away late.

Pick: Thunder 120, Lakers 101

Mavericks @ Jazz

Line: n/a Total: n/a

Dallas was a sinking ship just over a week ago, but a 6-4 run has them very much in the playoff mix. Tonight they take on the Jazz in Utah, where they can punch their playoff ticket officially with a big road win. That could be tough with Utah going 24-16 at home. The season series has been split thus far, too, with the last meeting going to the Jazz in OT. Fans could get another heated battle, but due to Chandler Parsons being out and J.J. Barea (groin) also potentially out, the mild edge goes to the Jazz.

Pick: Jazz 97, Mavs 94

Kings @ Suns

Line: Suns -6 Total: 218.5

The Kings shut down DeMarcus Cousins already, so they’re playing for nothing and will be short-handed when they visit the Suns tonight. This game still looks like a toss-up, as Phoenix doesn’t have a go-to star to rely on outside of young rookie Devin Booker. Phoenix is at home and have won two in a row, while they may also get up for the chance to even the season series.

Pick: Suns 108, Kings 105

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