Patty Mills,Bojan Bogdanovic
Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills (8) guards Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


Mike Shara

This weekend a serious diversion from watching NBA games arrived in the form of March Madness. Even if you’re a hardcore, faithful NBA fan it’s difficult (okay, impossible) to watch a game between Portland vs. Indiana or Sacramento vs. Oklahoma City when every game in the college tournament is a desperate, do-or-die affair. Plus this year’s NCAA Tournament has the additional adrenaline rush of cheering for Duke and Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski to be eliminated for the final time in his career (squeal!). For half a minute there I thought Tom Izzo and Michigan State were going to be the lucky team to get to do it. I feel like nice weather won’t arrive this year until Duke is gone. Then Mother Nature can heal this cold, frozen land.

Now that the college tourney is down to just 16 teams, the early week NBA schedule gets back to some fascinating matchups that will have real playoff consequences after a weekend of games that were mostly…meh. On Monday, NBA TV starts things off with a savory Utah vs. Brooklyn game in prime time before we get two more great inter-conference games Wednesday on ESPN. First, Brooklyn will get more national TV time as they face Memphis at the FedExForum and then the late game sees Philadelphia facing the Lakers in L.A. at whatever the hell their stupid arena is called now. (Look, there weren’t any national Lakers games last week – you can’t avoid them forever. It’s like a sickness.)

The weekend will give you some quandaries as you ponder whether or not you’re going to watch more March Madness action or some great games at the pro level. Your viewing dilemma will start right away as Phoenix visits Denver on NBA TV Thursday night. On Friday NBA TV has two games that might let you at least do picture-in-picture with the college games, with Golden State in Atlanta and Philadelphia facing the Clippers in L.A. (at least it’s not the damn Lakers again!).  Saturday night’s game is a doozy as Brooklyn heads to Miami and Sunday night’s game is a nice one as well as the Jazz bookend the week by taking on the Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas with both teams battling to stay among the top six of the Western Conference and out of the play-in tournament. Mysteriously, neither Saturday’s Memphis/Milwaukee game nor the  Minnesota/Boston or Phoenix/Philadelphia Sunday games are on national television. That would have created some real household television basketball viewing arguments. Instead, you’ll likely only see the highlights the next day.  

You’ll notice that all of the long weekend games are on NBA TV as I suppose ESPN is devoting a lot of effort and airtime to covering the tournament even if they aren’t broadcasting the actual games. Remember that the list below is only nationally broadcast games. Local networks will cover local teams’ games as always so make sure you check your local listings. I don’t think I’ve ever typed a sentence before that used the word ‘local’ three times. How about that?

Utah @ Brooklyn   7:30 pm   NBA TV

Atlanta @ New York   7:30 pm   TNT
LA Clippers @ Denver   10 pm   TNT

Brooklyn @ Memphis   7:30 pm   ESPN
Philadelphia @ LA Lakers   10 pm   ESPN

Phoenix @ Denver   9 pm  NBA TV

Golden State @ Atlanta   7:30 pm   NBA TV
Philadelphia @ LA Clippers   10 pm   NBA TV

Brooklyn @ Miami   8 pm   NBA TV

Utah @ Dallas   7:30 pm   NBA TV

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