HOW TO WATCH NBA GAMES THIS WEEK
After that huge slate of games happened on Monday for MLK Day, there were only two games Tuesday night and neither of them were nationally televised, but there are still some great games on national channels for the rest of the week that fans and bettors alike should be paying attention to.
Wednesday sees Cleveland roll into the Windy City for possibly the most important Cavaliers/Bulls matchup since the days of Brad Daugherty and Craig Ehlo. These two teams are tied in the win column atop the Eastern Conference’s Central Division, and it should be fun to see which of these up-and-coming teams takes the jump to the next level as a serious postseason threat. The Bulls then have to follow that game up by making the short trip to Milwaukee and facing the Bucks on ESPN Friday night. When was the last time anyone could seriously suggest that the Central Division in the East was among the NBA’s toughest to play in?
Thursday night’s best game features the Suns, currently owners of the best record in the NBA, taking on the Mavs in Dallas. Big D are finally starting to get healthy as a team and will be a good road test for a Suns team that looks poised and determined to return to the Finals again this year. Take note, fans: this game has an early start (6:30 CT) to accommodate being the first game of a TNT doubleheader that night.
The weekend has some fascinating games, too, with the red-hot Grizzlies venturing into the thin air of Denver on Friday, Utah traveling to San Fran to face the Warriors Sunday night and, well… three, uh…interesting inter conference matchups on Saturday (let’s face it, you’ll probably be watching NFL football that night anyway…).
For NBA history nerds there is a rematch of the 2000 NBA Finals on Wednesday night as Indiana travels to whatever-the-hell-the-old-Staples-Center used to be called to play the Lakers. I’ll always remember Game Four of that series when Shaq fouled out in overtime and Rik Smits just humiliated John Salley for a few minutes, but Reggie Miller missed a three-pointer as the clock expired and Indiana lost by 2. Reggie makes that shot and it’s an entirely different series (and legacy) for those great Pacer teams of that era.
Anyway…I’ve listed here only the nationally televised games. Check your local listings to see where and when your favorite team’s games are on regional networks. All times listed are EST.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19
Charlotte @ Boston | 7:30 pm | ESPN
LA Clippers @ Denver | 10 pm | ESPN
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20
Phoenix @ Dallas | 7:30 pm | TNT
Indiana @ Golden State | 10 pm | TNT
FRIDAY, JANUARY 21
Chicago @ Milwaukee | 8 pm | ESPN
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23
LA Lakers @ Miami | 6 pm | NBA TV
Utah @ Golden State | 830 pm | NBA TV