NBA Games of the Week: 10/30-11/5
The NBA season has been amazing. The Orlando Magic have beaten the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers by more than 20 and the Suns actually won basketball games. To think, people said the regular season doesn’t matter. Let’s get to a great game from each day of the week.
Monday October 30th
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers (10:30PM EST)
Despite the Clippers losing their first game on Saturday night to the Detroit Pistons, they have had an amazing start to their first season without Chris Paul and this game against the Warriors will be their toughest matchup thus far into the 2017-18 season. After displaying some issues in their 1-2 start, the Warriors have seemingly righted the ship with big wins over the Raptors and Wizards. They are playing this season with a chip on their shoulder and they have shown that they are not afraid to mix it up. The Warriors and Clippers was a bitter rivalry for a time, but now that Chris Paul is gone, I am not sure if there will still be any volatility to this series. Now, they are two top tier teams that are fighting for Western Conference playoff seeding. Blake Griffin has been quite good thus far this season and he has hurt the Warriors in the past. It is also unclear as I write this if Draymond Green will be available for the game, he might be suspended. That could be huge in the outcome of this game.
Tuesday October 31st
Oklahoma City Thunder at Milwaukee Bucks (8PM EST)
The Thunder come into this game at 4-3, which is not bad for getting two superstars to somehow fit into your team. The Thunder will not be the same team they are now as the season goes along, they will get more comfortable playing together. The Bucks have been good so far this season and could come into this game at 4-2 if they are able to win in Atlanta on Sunday. Their only two losses have come against the Cavaliers and the Celtics. This game is going to feature some good matchups on the wing where you have Carmelo Anthony and Paul George for the Thunder and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton for the Bucks. Westbrook could be a difference maker, but this should be a fun game.
Wednesday November 1st
Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies (8PM EST)
I never thought that I would select an Orlando Magic game in this column, but the 2nd week in and here we are. The Magic have been great to start the season. They absolutely dominated San Antonio on Friday and have seemed to put it together on offense. They will go into Memphis to take on the Grizzlies, who have surprised many people with their own 5-1 start. This matchup is intriguing because of the differences in style. The Grizzlies like to slow it down, the Magic like to play fast. The Grizzlies have relied heavily on their bench, that is averaging over 60 points per game. The Magic have relied heavily on their young players in Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and Nikola Vucevic. Although I thought I would never say this, I am looking forward to this game and you should definitely check it out.
Thursday November 2nd
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs (8PM EST)
This game has some significance in that it could be a preview of this year’s Western Conference Finals, but it could also be the debut for Kawhi Leonard. If it is the debut of Leonard it will be fascinating to see how he integrates himself into this Spurs offense that has revolved around LaMarcus Aldridge, who has looked very good this season. The Warriors are the Warriors and I did not want to choose them for this game, but it was either this game or the Lakers vs. Trail Blazers and I am not interested in that one. The Spurs have done well this season playing without Kawhi and Tony Parker. Although their moves in the offseason were criticized they have not been adversely affected. I am also interested in seeing Rudy Gay in this matchup. He has been good for the Spurs and is a good matchup for stretches with Kevin Durant.
Friday November 3rd
Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards (7PM EST)
This game feels like a big game for both teams. The Wizards talked a lot of mess last year about Cleveland and this season has been difficult for both teams to an extent. Cleveland has looked lost so far this season. They look like they are ready for the playoffs to start so they can give a crap again. They lost to the Pelicans in embarrassing fashion on Saturday night and it is unclear if they can be the dominant team that they were in the past. They will come into the game against the Wizards after playing the Knicks and Pacers, two games that could give them confidence if they are able to win going away. Washington on the other hand, endured two heartbreaking losses to the Warriors and Lakers and seem to struggle when the game is on the line. John Wall’s shot selection has also been a point of concern for them. If the Wizards plan to challenge in the Eastern Conference, this is a potential statement game for them.
Saturday November 4th
Sacramento Kings at Detroit Pistons (7PM EST)
This game is one that I personally want to watch just for the fact that the Pistons have not been bad this season and it is unclear if they are going to be a playoff team. Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris have played some of the best basketball of their careers and they knocked off the Clippers on the road. As I type this, they are 4-2 set to take on the Warriors on Sunday. This Pistons team has some good players and could make some noise in the East. The Kings on the other hand are not going to be great this season, but this is a chance to watch young players Skal Labissiere and De’Aaron Fox. Fox has been the leading scorer for the Kings and at times has looked electric and he is crazy fast. It should be a good game.
Sunday November 5th
Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets (7PM EST)
The Rockets have been hit hard by injuries and they have managed to still produce a 5-2 record. They are a good offensive team that has added some key defensive pieces. They lost both games to a Memphis team that has some similarities to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz do not have the firepower that Memphis has, but they defend and they play at a slower pace. The Rockets want to play a more up and down style and they really struggled in the games they played against the Grizzlies, but they have played well in their other games and have looked great. The Jazz on the other hand had a tough loss to the Phoenix Suns and their record going into this week stands at 3-3. The Jazz have beat some good teams to start the season, but they have dropped two of their last three and in the West, you have to win to keep pace with everyone else. They have struggled to score, only scoring over 100 points once and failing to reach 90 points twice, but they do defend. Ricky Rubio has played very well and the rookie Donovan Mitchell had a great game at the Lakers scoring 22 points on 9 of 16 from the field and he did this. If Mitchell can continue to score, he may improve the ceiling of this Utah team. The Jazz have some good wing defenders to throw at Harden, but this could be a return game for Chris Paul if he is cleared. If Chris Paul is back, this game gets even more intriguing.
Enjoy the games and be sure to check out otgbasketball.com for more amazing content.