As riveting as the new VH1 show "Basketball Wives" may be, there are more important things to proceed with this evening. Here's a quick guide to the NBA slate Monday night and what matters as far as the playoff race -- in order of interest/importance as determined by me:
* Thunder at Blazers, 10 p.m. ET: OKC needs this one if it wants to avoid the eighth seed -- and despite the Lakers' struggles and the way the Thunder ran L.A. out of the Ford Center a few weeks ago, this would still be the correct strategy. With the tiebreaker over San Antonio, the Blazers need to win to have a chance at the No. 7 seed. Brandon Roy, though, is out with a bone bruise in his right knee.
* Raptors at Pistons, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV): If they want to get swept by the Cavs, the Raptors must win this game. Otherwise, the Bulls can go 1-1 in their final two games and earn the right to be gum on the sole of LeBron's Nikes.
* Hawks at Bucks, 8 p.m. ET/Heat at 76ers, 7 p.m. ET: This is all tied together. Both the Hawks and Bucks need this one to secure their current position (Atlanta No. 3, Milwaukee No. 5). The Hawks would then be rooting for the Bulls to beat the Celtics on Tuesday, and Miami would be hoping for the Bucks to beat the Hawks. Side note: For the sake of Atlanta and the American viewing public, we want the Hawks to somehow face Milwaukee in the first round. A repeat of the Heat-Hawks fiasco from last year's first round -- the most boring seven-game series in NBA history with all seven games being blowouts -- would not be cool with me.
* Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV): The Mavs essentially would wrap up the No. 2 seed with a victory -- unless the Jazz overtook the Nuggets for the Northwest Division title.
*Wizards at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET/Bobcats at Nets, 7:30 p.m. ET: It's Tracy McGrady's last home game as a Knick and it's the Nets' last game at the Meadowlands. If you don't like it, watch a rerun of "Basketball Wives" instead.