This is the Jump Ball’s weekly TV Guide for NBA fans. We point out what games are must-watch TV each week.
Monday, no games this evening but buckle up for the 2017-18 season.
Tuesday, opening night for the NBA is finally here. It is a must watch night of hoops.
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
There is no way the NBA schedule makers knew Kyrie Irving would be traded to the Celtics in the summer. It worked out perfectly that the first game of the NBA regular season would feature the return of Irving to a city he just took a few shots at not too long ago. LeBron James remains questionable to play so the game could turn into a dud but it will be fun to watch Irving playing his first game as a visitor to his old home.
Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors title defense begins against a Rockets team that made several moves to compete with the Dubs. Game one last year for the Warriors led to a blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs. It’s too early in the season to interpret whether the James Harden and Chris Paul pairing will take on the Warriors but if they give them a run a lot of eyes will perk up.
Wednesday, 11 games on tap this evening a few, in particular, have perked the Jump Ball’s interest.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards
The Wizards have high aspirations this season after taking the Celtics to 7 games last year in the playoffs. A series that many think they should have won and in the comments from Bradley Beal and John Wall this summer, they have put the spotlight on themselves. The Sixers will be a regular League Pass team this season if Joel Embiid can stay healthy and Ben Simmons makes a bid for rookie of the year. Expectations are high this season for the Sixers with weak Eastern Conference, playoffs are in reach.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
The Celtics will make their home debut the night after the Kyrie homecoming game against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. He made a huge leap last season and it got Milwaukee in the playoffs last season. This is a chance to step onto the scene and show their ready as a team to take a big leap and enter the conversation in the East as a top 4 team.
Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz
Even though this game competes with the Wolves and Spurs game, we find this game more interesting because it could have implications come playoff time. Both of these teams are in the mix for a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. It’s early to think playoff implications but head-to-head record decides all ties for playoff spots. Each game between the Nuggets, Jazz, Timberwolves, Clippers, Grizzlies, and Trail Blazers has a high level of meaning. This is the first of those games.
Thursday, only 3 games but this night has a high duds possibility.
New York Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Knicks will open the season against Carmelo Anthony and his new friends in Russell Westbrook and Paul George. It may not be a great game with the talent disparity between these two teams but it will be everyone’s first chance to see the Thunder’s big three in a meaningful game.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Clippers will be opening their season for the first time without Chris Paul since the 2010-11 season against the Lakers’ young guys and the beginning of the Lonzo Ball era for the Lakers. This game will feature two amazing passers in Ball and the Clippers’ Milos Teodosic, this should make for a fun game, the score may not.
Friday, 10 games on the docket but a few must watch games people shouldn’t miss.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks will host the Cavs in what the Jump Ball is hoping will be a playoff matchup in April. The Bucks attempting to make the leap can measure where they stand against the rulers of the East for the past three years. Watching Giannis and LeBron battle is must watch every time.
Utah Jazz vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
This goes back to the earlier point of the season series for these teams will matter at the end of the year. The Jazz should still be competitive without Gordon Hayward and the Wolves are hoping the leadership of Jimmy Butler will help their young team take the leap and make the playoffs.
Saturday, 11 games on Saturday night.
Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Over the past few seasons, the Grizzlies have been giving the Warriors fits but it will be the first time they’ll be squaring off since the end of the Grit-N-Grind era has come to an end. The Grizzlies are trying to play at a quicker tempo and it’ll be their first test against the champs.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz
The Thunder big three will be facing what could be one of the best defensive teams in the league Saturday night. Rudy Gobert in the middle will anchor the Jazz’s defense and have enough guys to hound Carmelo, George, and Russ all night. The question for the Jazz will be if they can score enough points. This has the potential to be a game of Offensive vs. Defense.
Sunday, 3 games on the slate but only one that really matters.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Butler, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Andrew Wiggins will go up against the Thunder and see how they measure up against one of the better teams in the Western Conference. The slug match in the paint between Towns and Steven Adams will definitely be a fun matchup to keep an eye on.
That is it for the first week of games in the NBA. So happy basketball is back!