This is the Jump Ball’s weekly TV Guide for NBA fans. We point out what games are must-watch TV each week.
Monday, 8 games to start the week with two that stand out in the East.
Cleveland Cavaliers (12-7) vs Philadelphia 76ers (11-7)
This is going to be a very tough week of games for the Sixers starting with a face-off with the hot Cavs. The Cavs are coming in winners of seven straight. During this streak, they have a defensive rating of 101.8, which is a vast improvement from their 113.2 prior to the streak. If the Sixers want to start getting taken more seriously a win here would go a long way.
Detroit Pistons (12-6) vs Boston Celtics (18-3)
The Pistons roll into Boston to face the East-leading Celtics. This has a lot of fun match-ups like Reggie Jackson vs Kyrie Irving, Andre Drummond colliding with Aron Baynes, and of all things Avery Bradley’s return to TD Garden for the first time as a visitor. For sure there will be a tribute video, it might get dusty for a second.
Tuesday, 5 games on Tuesday night with only one that can be exciting to watch.
Washington Wizards (10-9) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (12-8)
The Wizards are missing John Wall, with losses in their last two games; the one against the Blazers definitely hurts. It’ll be on Bradley Beal and Otto Porter who has been great so far this season to carry the load while he’s out. The Wolves have been playing 500 ball in their last 10 games, they seem to take a step forward only to find a way to take a step back.
Wednesday, 10 games with a few real fun ones.
Washington Wizards (10-9) vs Philadelphia 76ers (12-7)
This is a second of four tough games for the Sixers and the second night of a back to back for the Wizards. These teams played on opening night, the Wizards won by five but the Sixers gave them a great game and did not execute well down the stretch. The Sixers have improved their execution and the Wizards will be without Wall, either way, it should be a fun game.
Minnesota Timberwolves (12-8) vs New Orleans Pelicans (11-9)
Just like the Wizards, this is a second night of a back to back for the Wolves as they travel to New Orleans. The Pelicans have played well and if Darius Miller and E’Twaun Moore can keep shooting, things will get better for them as the team adjusts to playing with Rajon Rondo. This game could have playoff implications come April so it’s an important win for either team.
Thursday, a five-game slate with a potential exciting one in Boston.
Philadelphia 76ers (11-7) vs Boston Celtics (18-3)
Embiid and company will continue this tough week with a trip to Boston. The Celtics defense has been great and even if a team builds an early lead against them, they never quit. The C’s are 6-2 in games where they are down by double digits and the Sixers have shown that they are capable of building big leads but blow them late. This could be a real great one.
Milwaukee Bucks (9-9) vs Portland Trail Blazers (12-8)
The last time these teams met, the Bucks literally stole the win, when Giannis Antetokounmpo striped CJ McCollum and ran down the court for the game-winning dunk. This the Blazers first home game after a five game East Coast swing, which would be trouble but it is also the Bucks’ last stop after on a four-game West Coast trip. It certainly has a chance to get sloppy but can still be a fun one to watch.
Friday, 8 games for a fun NBA Friday night.
Detroit Pistons (12-6) vs Washington Wizards (10-9)
The Pistons head to DC to take on the Wizards, who will have to find a way to slow down the Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond Pick-and-Roll. As mentioned earlier a lot of pressure is on Beal to create for others while Wall is out, he won’t be only in that responsibility but the lion share of it will fall on him.
Minnesota Timberwolves (12-8) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (8-11)
The Thunder has certainly struggled this season, in particular late in games; they are 1-9 in close games this season. There is still plenty of time for the Thunder to turn this around but figuring out how to win close games would be a good place to start. The last matchup of the OKC3 and the Wolves trio was one of the most exciting games of the year so far with the Andrew Wiggins game-winner at the buzzer.
Saturday, 8 games on the deck but only one worthy of your time.
Detroit Pistons (12-6) vs Philadelphia 76ers (11-7)
With the crazy tough schedule, the Sixers have this week, they could be desperate for a win come Saturday night. Lucky for them the Pistons are coming into town on the second night of a back to back. This type of week of basketball could be a stepping-stone for the Sixers and serve notice to the league they are for real or it could be a very true stumbling block.
Sunday, 5 games for the league on this day, but only one that should be fun.
Golden State Warriors (15-5) vs Miami Heat (10-9)
The last time the Warriors were in Miami, Dion Waiters did this and let’s be honest, we are all hoping for a repeat performance.
That is it for this week in the NBA!