Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NBA Wednesday- Lakers, Celtics, Heat & The Divorcing Duo

On the Wednesday before the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the NBA offers up for your approval, what should be a entertainment 10-game slate. What to watch for:

Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat (7:00 PM): ESPN kicks of its Wednesday night “soon to be single” PG doubleheader with Steve Nash (who LOVES Tony Parker right now!) leading the Suns into the American Airlines Arena, or as it’s now known, the Special Ed Class for Sports Fandom.

On the floor, this is exactly the kind of game the Miami Heat should win spectacularly. Although the Suns have an elite lead guard, they are woefully thin inside (especially with Robin Lopez out) and don’t have the manpower to match up with Miami in a wide-open game. At home, against an undersized opponent that plays an uptempo game and is average at best on D. No excuses for losing this one.

Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers (7:00 PM): Brand! Bargnani! Holiday! DeRozan! Buckle up for the 2-9 Raps at the 2-9 Sixers!

These teams make me sad.

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics (7:30 PM): This should have been one of the most exciting games of the young season, featuring two of the NBA’s most electrifying point guards. While red-hot Rajon Rondo (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 15.1 apg and 2.7 spg) will be running the show for the home team, a sprained foot will likely keep lightening-quick rookie sensation John Wall on the sidelines (unofficially- he tweeted "nah" when asked if he was "good to go" for Wednesday night's game).

While the busted marquee matchup is a bit of a buzzkill, all is not lost for the Wiz. A possibly rejuvenated Gilbert Arenas will step in for Wall. He and the Wizards’ talented frontcourt duo of Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee could give the C’s some problems, but this just means that Boston’s “Aging Three” will have to log some fourth quarter minutes in a ho-hum 12-point win.

Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons (7:30 PM): A night after overcoming a sluggish first half and a red hot Brandon Jennings, the Lakers close out the second of eight back-to-back. While Tuesday night’s workload will probably lead to some tired legs tonight, there are few teams in the NBA better-suited for a tired Lakers team.

The Pistons play the fourth slowest pace in the NBA (thanks Forum Blue & Gold!), do not have lightening PG that will abuse Derek Fisher and Steve Blake, have no answer on the inside for Pau Gasol, and frankly just aren’t very good. This may not be pretty, but it should be the Lakers’ 10th win of the season.

Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Hornets (8:00 PM): For anyone that saw the outstanding battle between two teams on Monday, this return game is pretty sell. The Hornets were the NBA's last team to fall from the ranks of the undefeated- they do not have to wait long for a shot at revenge.

Chris Paul has quickly squashed the notion that he's no longer the NBA's best point guard. He's taken what could have been a utterly disastrous situation in New Orleans and turned it into a showcase for his greatness. Rondo is awesome, as are D-Will, Derrick Rose and Steve Nash, but CP3 at the peak of his powers is one of the NBA's truly unique viewing experiences.

I was wrong. So very wrong! SO. WRONG.

Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves (8:00 PM): Not as bad a matchup as many might think. The Wolves trot out one the NBA's best young frontcourt duos, while the Clips feature two oft he league's best in-game dunkers in Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon (who knew!), not to mention one of the steals of the 2010 draft in PG Eric Bledsoe. Not a must-watch, but could be pretty entertaining.

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (8:00 PM): 

New Jersey Nets at Utah Jazz (9:00 PM): 

Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs (9:30 PM): How does ESPN get these games?
Not only is this the sexier, more salacious half of Wednesday's "divorce doubleheader"- meaning your WoG may want to watch as well- it also features as good a PG matchup as you're going to find.

On the floor, Parker will be matched up against Derrick Rose who, fresh off a dominating 33-point, 7-assist, 3-steal performance in Houston, is averaging an awesome 24.7 ppg and 9.2 apg. With Parker's mind likely be on other matters, Rose should get the better of the matchup- pretty decisively- but given how pissed his wife is, I'd imagine there's still nowhere else Tony would rather be tonight.

By the way, is Brent Barry part of NBA TV's studio team tonight?

New York Knicks at Sacramento Kings (10:00 PM): The 2010-11 Knicks have shown a unique ability to end up on the wrong side of some epic individual performances, having already surrendered 24 assists to Rajon Rondo and 31-31 to Kevin Love. That would make this a good night to be Tyreke Evans. One of the league's best penetrators, Evans has demonstrated an ability to carve up good teams, so it will be interesting to see what he does to the Knicks. My money's on a 30-7-7, or thereabouts.

On the other side, the Knicks feature unsung rookie Landry Fields. A second-round out of Stanford, Fields unexpectedly won the starting two-guard job in camp. He's averaging 10.9 ppg and 6.8 rpg and has put up double-doubles in two of the last three games, including career highs of 21 and 17 last night in Denver. he's by far the best reason to watch the Knicks.

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