Anyways, it's another week in which to excel and with that, my take on this week's nationally televised NBA Games.
6- Wizards vs. Warriors Friday ESPN
The idea of putting the Wizards on National TV several times this year does not look to be panning out very well. Sure Gilbert Arenas is an interesting player (when hes not injured) but this team is just not that good. Sure, they are a game and a half out of the last spot (in the East).
On the other end is a Warriors team that is interesting in all the wrong ways. Dysfunctional coach ? Check Team Going Absolutely Nowhere? Check Team that considers defense optional? Check..with the Kings improving this year the Warriors have proudly representing as the biggest train wreck of a team in Nor Cal.
5- Magic vs. Heat Thursday TNT
A less than exciting battle of Florida. The Magic are battling for Eastern Conference Supremacy. The only difference between the Heat and the Wizards is Dwayne Wade is at least able to push the Heat into playoff contention. Sad But True: The Heat are .500 (11-11) but in the East thats good for battling the Bucks for the 5-spot in the East.
4- Mavericks vs. Thunder Wednesday ESPN
The Mavericks are off to a strong start and look headed to playoffs, nothing to see here for the next 58 games. For the Thunder, they get another chance to capitalize on their resurgent season. Any time Kevin Durant is involved, it's worth at least checking out the game. Fun Fact: If the Thunder played in the East they would be a 5 seed right now. However, they play in the West and are thus 1/2 game out of the last spot.
3- Suns vs. Blazers Thursday TNT
Toss-up between the game above but this wins the tie-breaker with Steve Nash on my fantasy team. In the real world, the Suns seem to be coming down to earth after a scorching hot start it will be interesting to see if they stay amongst the elite or if they are in danger of missing the playoffs for a second straight year.
The Blazers, coming off a couple tough losses to the Cavs and Bucks and are nobly trying to compete with about half of their roster injured. How well the Blazers hold up being this short-handed will go a long way to see if the Blazers are going to be a legit playoff team.
2- Wizards vs. Kings Wednesday ESPN
When I started doing this NBA preview, I mentioned that I was ranking them based on how interesting I found the game which is NOT always correlated to how good the teams are. This week is definitely an example of this. As I mentioned earlier, I could care less about the Wizards, the only thing separating them from the bottom of the east are the 76ers and Nets.
The only reason I care about the game is I find the Kings to be one of more interesting teams this year. Sure they may be 10-12, but compared to what they were last year, it is a night and day improvement. Living in the Sacramento area (Davis) last year, I got plenty of opportunities to see the Kings on TV (and a couple chances to see them in person.....the last game of the Reggie Theus area and a loss to the Bucks, ironically a team that they ended up going on similar paths.)
But thats besides the point, this will be the first Kings National TV appearance of the Tyreke Evans era. The Kings seemed to have shed aside the Theus/Natt era is just a bad dream and look ready to contend for a playoff spot. If that wasn't enough, Arco Arena is doing a $1-beer night to get more fans into the stands (a high priority since as recent as last year you could walk up and buy tickets half an hour before the game....also this opens up the possibility of fans having a few too many of those dollar beers and seeing how that works out)
1-Bucks vs. Cavaliers Friday ESPN
Less to say about this one, but since the Bucks are involved the interest level over-rides the Kings. This team is pretty much Sacramento East. A moribund team seemingly going nowhere makes good use of their first-round pick (Jennings), an injury to their leading scorer from last year (Martin/Redd) and just enough from the rest of their teams to stick around .500.
The Bucks playing the Cavaliers means a dose of LeBron (always fun to watch) plus a lumbering Shaq who has definitely lost a step (or twelve). The way you hear the media talk, this has got to be one of the worst teams ever......to start 17-7.....their "struggles", definitely overblown. Shaq was never known for his quick starts and they shouldn't be worried unless they're still in chaos in March/April.