This is the Jump Ball’s weekly TV Guide for NBA fans. We point out what games are must-watch TV each week. A lot of fun games but a really big showdown coming this Thursday.
Monday, this 9 game Monday lineup gave us some fun matchups to watch.
Cleveland Cavaliers (6-7) vs New York Knicks (7-5)
Anytime LeBron James heads to Madison Square Garden there is a chance for some fireworks. James also gave the Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina some extra motivation when he said the Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr. (who went 9th to the Mavericks). After a slow start the Knicks have won seven of their last ten behind Kristaps Porzingis who is doing it on both ends averaging 30 points a night and 2.3 blocks. The question is whether the Cavs will rise to the challenge in the big apple?
Minnesota Timberwolves (7-5) vs Utah Jazz (6-7)
Another round of teams that may be fighting for a playoff spot come April. The Wolves are coming off a bad loss to the Phoenix Suns while the Jazz will be facing an uphill battle with the news of Rudy Gobert missing the next 4-6 weeks. If the Jazz dip during this run, they could find themselves on the wrong side of the playoff race.
Philadelphia 76ers (6-6) vs Los Angeles Clippers (5-7)
After getting blown out in Golden State, the Sixers are coming in to face an injury-depleted Clippers team that has lost five straight games and is coming in for one game before heading out for another five-game road trip. It’ll be interesting to see if the Clippers put Blake Griffin on Ben Simmons, and surely the battle of DeAndre Jordan and Joel Embiid won’t disappoint.
Tuesday, 3 games on this Tuesday night but really only one is worthy of your time.
Toronto Raptors (7-5) vs Houston Rockets (11-3)
The Raptors are heading to Houston after losing a tough one to the red-hot Boston Celtics. They are going to need production from someone other than Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to keep up with the Rockets high-octane offense. Houston, winners of six straight and not looking to slow down. Harden has picked up right where he left off last season, averaging 30.5 points, 9.8 assists while shooting 40.8% from deep.
Wednesday, an 11 game lineup this evening including a really fun one on ESPN
Detroit Pistons (10-3) vs Milwaukee Bucks (6-6)
The surprising Pistons will head to Milwaukee who is still learning how to play with their new teammate Eric Bledsoe. Tobias Harris is making a run at for most improved with his shooting touch, he has hit 42 threes in just 13 games this season, it took him all last season to make 109 (thanks, Josh Eberley). For those who love small sample sizes, in the two games with Bledsoe, the Bucks’ defensive rating has been 88.9, he might be a great fit for them.
Philadelphia 76ers (6-6) vs Los Angeles Lakers (5-8)
This a battle of two young teams headed by two brilliant passers in rookies Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons. Add in Embiid who has a tendency to really shine when the lights come on. This is the Lakers first game back after their four-game road trip where they have three straight losses possible four depending on their game against the Suns goes.
Thursday, only 2 games on the NBA Agenda but one that we’ve been waiting a few weeks for.
Golden State Warriors (10-3) vs Boston Celtics (12-2)
These are the two best teams in the NBA right now. The Celtics could be on a 13 game win streak at that point and the Warriors are going into this week winners of six straight. This has the potential to be a great battle if Kyrie Irving is back from his facial injury. This will also be a huge test as the Celtics young guns Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum. This is a can’t miss game.
Friday, 11 games on tap this evening.
Oklahoma City Thunder (6-7) vs San Antonio Spurs (8-5)
The Spurs are always very secretive about their injuries, so it wasn’t a good sign when coach Pop came out and said that Kawhi Leonard’s recovery from a quad injury is going slower than expected. Although they are off to a good start, the Spurs are a very different team with Kawhi in the lineup. Big wins over the Clippers and the Mavericks might be signs the Thunder are figuring out how to get their bigs guns to play well together.
New Orleans Pelicans (7-6) vs Denver Nuggets (8-5)
Two teams with a solid frontcourt, the Nuggets with Jokic and Paul Milsap will go up against the Pelicans’ DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. The duo of Cousins and Davis has been great so far this season, averaging 56 points combined a night. This is the exact opposite of the balanced scoring the Denver Nuggets have, with six guys averaging double digits.
Saturday, 7 games for Saturday night but only one that is really interesting.
Golden State Warriors (10-3) vs Philadelphia 76ers (6-6)
The Sixers first game back from their West coast trip is against the defending Champs who just crushed them on that trip. Still, the Sixers played them tough in the first half, if they could sustain that effort for the entire game, it could be a fun one that may end with Draymond Green having to guard Joel Embiid down the stretch.
Sunday, 6 games on the deck on this day in the NBA
Washington Wizards (7-5) vs Toronto Raptors (7-5)
Another battle between teams that hope to be in the top four in the East at the end of the season; the fun of this game will be the battle between John Wall and Bradley Beal vs Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Another person of interest in this one is going to be Otto Porter who is shooting 51.1% from three for the Wizards.
That is it for this week in the NBA!