NBA Games of the Week 11/13-11/19
The NBA season has given us some intrigue in the Eastern Conference, where the Boston Celtics cannot seem to lose despite missing their better players. Their winning streak stands at 11 games as I write this and they do not show signs of slowing down. The Cleveland Cavaliers cannot seem to play any defense, although they tend to play much better against better teams beating the Milwaukee Bucks again and playing the Houston Rockets close. The Detroit Pistons have also looked like a team that is ready to win with the breakout seasons of Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris, and Reggie Jackson happening at the same time. Out in the Western Conference, the Warriors and Rockets are looking good, but the story has been the struggles of the Oklahoma City Thunder. They have a record of 5-7 as I write this, they look terrible offensively despite having lots of firepower. It will be interesting to see how these situations play out. Let’s get to the games.
Monday November 13th
Orlando Magic at Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m EST)
The Orlando Magic are 8-4 and have not showed any signs of slowing down offensively. Their offense has been great and they have continued some of their hot shooting. Elfrid Payton has returned from injury at almost the exact same time that D.J. Augustin was injured and is out until the end of the month. The Magic are going into Oracle Arena to take on the Warriors, who seem to have found their stride. They have won 5 games in a row and all by double digits, including a beat down of the Timberwolves without Kevin Durant. Durant should be good to go for this game. This will be Orlando’s toughest game so far and it will be interesting to see if they can compete or if they get blown out. The Warriors are the class of the NBA and it is always interesting to see up and coming teams play them.
Tuesday November 14th
Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets (8:00 p.m EST)
The Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets have both been playing good basketball recently. The Raptors have won 3 of their last 4 heading into a Sunday showdown with the Boston Celtics. The Houston Rockets have won four in a row heading into their Saturday game against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have beaten them twice this season. These are two very important games for these teams and both games will lead into their matchup in Houston on Tuesday. The Raptors continue to win games and they will be heard from in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Rockets look like a team that is unbeatable if they shoot it well from deep. Harden is playing great and Capela has taken a leap for them. Chris Paul has only played one game for them so far. Should be a fun one in Houston.
Wednesday November 15th
Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m EST)
Who could forget Joel Embiid’s twitter war with Lavar during the summer? This game is interesting on so many levels. Ben Simmons looks like a superstar already and Lonzo Ball is shooting really badly so far this season and has folks calling him a bust only 12 games into the season. The Sixers started slowly, but a 5 game winning streak has them over .500 for the first time in a long time this far into a season. The Lakers currently sit at 5-7 as I write this and they are putting a priority on the development of their young players, which is good. It will be interesting to see if the Luol Deng situation is resolved by this game. Nevertheless, it should be fun to see Ben Simmons try to dunk on Lonzo so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him, which Simmons might be able to do.
Thursday November 16th
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics (8:00 p.m EST)
Thank you TNT for this game. However, it might not live up to the hype. The Celtics are having some big issues with injuries and it is unclear if Al Horford will be ready to play by next Thursday. Also, Kyrie Irving might be out if he is in the concussion protocol. Irregardless, this should be a fun game because it is in Boston and after their amazing comeback against Charlotte, it would be a fun game to watch if Boston was able to compete. However, the Warriors are not the Hornets and this one could get ugly if the Warriors come into Boston fully healthy. If the Celtics can keep up their winning streak, it will make this game all the more compelling as they would welcome in the defending champion Warriors with a 13 game winning streak.
Friday November 17th
New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets (10:30 p.m EST)
The bigs on these teams are going to matchup and it is going to be phenomenal. DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis against Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap should be an awesome contest. The Pelicans and Nuggets find themselves in a similar boat in that both are going to be fighting to get in the playoffs. The Pelicans are 6-6 as I write this and the Nuggets are one game better at 7-5. This game could have huge implications for playoff seeding so it should be a competitive game. There is talk that Rajon Rondo might make his season debut during this game and it will be interesting to see him on the court with New Orleans’ point guard so far this season, DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is averaging 28, 14, and 6 every night and has become the engine of the Pelicans. Nikola Jokic is putting up 17, 12, and 4 as the big man playmaker for the Nuggets. I am excited for this matchup.
Saturday November 18th
Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers (10:00 p.m EST)
This will be the second game of a home and home for these two teams. They will play Friday night in Sacramento and travel to Portland to play again. This game was chosen because both of these teams have had some exciting conclusions so far this season. The Trail Blazers last four games have been decided by a combined 13 points. The Kings have some exciting young players and De’Aaron Fox looks like the point guard of the future for the Kings. The Trail Blazers have two pretty good guards in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum so it will be a nice matchup. The Kings are not going to win a great deal of games this year, which means it is very important for the Trail Blazers to get a win in this game and the game on Friday. If they hope to make the playoffs they are going to have to feast on the bad teams.
Sunday November 19th
Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves (7:00 p.m EST)
These two teams met in October and the Pistons just beat the crap out of the Jimmy Butler-less Wolves. With Jimmy Butler in tow if he can get out of the lake, it should be a nice matchup. The Pistons are playing some great basketball and they are winning games. They sit at 9-3 as I write this and are without a doubt one of the most amazing stories of the season so far. Reggie Jackson has looked very good to go along with Tobias Harris’ breakout start to this year. Andre Drummond has also shown some amazing new wrinkles to his game and is putting up some nice assist numbers. Tobias Harris destroyed the Wolves in the last game, scoring 34 points and you know that Jimmy Butler will be matched up with him. This should be a really fun game matching up some nice young bigs in Karl-Anthony Towns and Drummond along with some great wing play and a surprisingly nice point guard battle with Jeff Teague and Jackson. I am excited for this one.