NBA Games of the Week (Dec 28 – Jan 3)
Toronto Raptors @ Chicago Bulls
Welcome to another Eastern Conference matchup that pits two teams that lack any sort of consistency. Jimmy Butler has voiced his concerns about the new coaching regime while Toronto has dealt with injuries that haven’t allowed them to find any real consistency. With the Raptors and Bulls having Jekyll and Hyde moments, who shows up in this Monday night matchup?
Atlanta Hawks @ Houston Rockets
Okay so the Rockets are in disarray after being incredible last year and seemingly having a great offseason. Trade rumors, for what seems like half of their roster, are swirling through every NBA city. I still think Houston turns it around after what I saw with their battle of attrition last season. Atlanta is a quality team who should prove to be a test for the Beard and his Rockets.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics
It’s crazy to think that the Lakers and Celtics were playing in a Game 7 for the NBA Championship just six years ago. Both rosters have gotten makeovers since and both teams aren’t contenders anymore, but the magic and luster of this rivalry still exists. Boston has one of the best fan bases, and they know and understand history. Even though Kobe ripped a ring away from the Celtics in 2010, these fans will appreciate the legacy he leaves behind and the imprint he left on this rivalry.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee looks like a contender when they play Golden State, but they have a losing record for a reason. After having what everyone believed to be a great offseason, the Bucks have been bad. Now factor in injuries taking Jason Kidd away from the sidelines, and Milwaukee might be in real trouble against Paul George and this Pacers team who can score with the elite teams in the league.
Orlando Magic @ Washington Wizards
A Southeast showcase between the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards takes place Friday night in the Verizon Center. After a solid playoff run last year, the Wiz have run straight into a wall. Washington has to win division and conference games at home if they hope to get back into the playoff race and build off last season.
Phoenix Suns @ Sacramento Kings
I’ll be honest; I thought both of these teams would be better than they are. I’ll be honest again; the West just isn’t what everyone thought it would be. Both squads still have a chance at the postseason, but games like these will help separate who actually has a legitimate chance.