Your NBA Weekend (11/6-11/8): “Well, It’s Something To Watch” Edition
After what was a really fun previous weekend for NBA match-ups (including early season rematches, former teammates battling one another), this weekend in NBA action is actually a bit disappointing. That’s not to say there aren’t a few games worth watching, but the narratives behind them aren’t nearly as intriguing. In addition there are some lingering health issues with some of these teams (see: Cousins potentially resting). Regardless, here’s a brief schedule I’ve made on what you should be watching over this weekend while you ignore family obligations and other such things. Remember, the seasons are getting cooler (well, in many places anyway) so you definitely have a terrible cold and can’t go out this weekend to visit your aunt who is trying to reenter your life, right?
Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic, 7:00 EST
The Toronto Raptors have come out swinging out of the gates and are off to a great 5-0 record that I hadn’t anticipated happening. They managed to pick up a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday evening, and look to keep their win streak alive here against the Orlando Magic. The Magic may not have the best record in the NBA right now, but they aren’t a team to be slept on. This young Magic team looks to have a promising future, with almost everyone in their starting five stepping up in various games this early in the NBA Season. As of today (Thursday), Vucevic is listed as being questionable for the Magic.
Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns, 9:30 EST
The Phoenix Suns back court of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight have looked solid early, after what was a rough introductory season for the two last year after Knight was traded to the Suns. With this in mind, the Phoenix Suns seem to still be in a bit of a limbo where their roster needs to be filled out to look like a threat in the West. This match-up also will be the first meeting between the Morris twins ever since Marcus Morris went to the Detroit Pistons.
Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings, 10:30 EST
Assuming the Pistons and Suns game isn’t a nail-biter or as intriguing as one might think, this is probably the best option for your final game to watch for the night, despite the fact DeMarcus Cousins may not play at all. Both of these teams are off to rough starts and looking to get their teams back on track. The Houston Rockets looked significantly better against the Oklahoma City Thunder, as James Harden managed to shoot 46% against them and score 37 points. However it’s concerning that in the next game against the Orlando Magic, he shot a pathetic 27% on 22 shots and had 28 points. The team still won and improved their record to 2-3, but Harden will need to take better shots if he intends on helping this team defeat some of the best in the West.
Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 EST
This should be a really entertaining game as the Washington Wizards are coming off of a huge win over the San Antonio Spurs where Bradley Beal knocked down the game winning 3-point shot. The Wall/Beal back-court continues to look like one of the best in the NBA. In addition, Otto Porter Jr is putting together a solid early season where he’s averaging 12 ppg and is shooting 52%. The Atlanta Hawks will be an intriguing match-up, as they won five games straight after dropping their first game of the season to the Detroit Pistons.
Houston Rockets at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 EST
Western Conference Semi-Finals rematch! The Los Angeles Clippers have consistently looked great early in this season, whereas the Rockets have looked iffy, at best (although they have turned their act around as of lately). Blake Griffin and Chris Paul have both been huge for the Clippers offense early in this season, with Griffin averaging a team high 28.2 points per game and Chris Paul averaging 17 points and 8.2 assists. I’m not positive the Rockets have the personnel to handle this Clipper team, but stranger things have happened. The post battle between Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan should be really fun to watch, as both may actually neutralize one another’s impact on the court.
Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers, 3:30 EST
Paul George continues to try to carry this Indiana Pacers team early in the season, as they’re yet to really look completely in sync. In comparison, the Cleveland Cavaliers have started off the season really hot and are showing that they should be able to handle anything that comes at them with Kyrie Irving’s return still uncertain. I don’t imagine the Pacers have enough to take out the Cavs in this one, but it will be fun to see Paul George battle against LeBron James. Expect for Kevin Love to have another huge game against a depleted Pacers front-court.
Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat, 6:00 EST
The Toronto Raptors are off to a hot start this season as they look like truly one of the best teams in the East, and the Heat are looking really sharp early in the season as well. Fingers are crossed that the Heat will be at full strength for this one as they’ll really need all hands on deck to take out the Raptors. Chris Bosh continues to look sold this season with 14.4 points per game, 9.8 rebounds, shooting 38% from deep.
Detroit Pistons at Portland Trail Blazers, 9:00 EST
As you wind down for the evening and prepare for your week ahead, why not tune in as the Trail Blazers continue to confuse everyone by playing their hearts out against a Pistons team that is, in theory, one of the best teams currently in the East? I suspect the Trailblazers will have a rough time in this one, as I don’t think the combination of Lillard and McCollum will be enough to overtake the Pistons who have a starting five that both manages to stretch the floor well with threats from deep (Marcus Morris and Ilyasova), and also features a huge paint presence in Andre Drummond.