The NBA has a full slate of games today to counter the college football offerings. Let’s dive in.
The Scoring Bonanza if This Were 2007 Bowl (Warriors at Suns, 3:30 PM ET):
Just a few years ago, Suns-Warriors matchups were guaranteed 154-142 shootouts. This year, though, the Suns have struggled to crack 90 per night. Most tragically, age seems to be finally catching up to Steve Nash. The Mark Jackson-era Warriors haven’t been great by any means, but they should be the favorites to win this one.
The Back-to-Back Rematch Bowl (Wizards at Celtics, 7:30 PM ET):
One of the interesting wrinkles of the lockout schedule has been an abundance of back-to-back games between two teams. Denver split one of these with the Lakers over the last two days; the Wizards will look for their first win of the season in Boston a day after losing at home to the Celtics. If nothing else, Wall-Rondo will be fun.
The Rebuilding-But-Not-Really-Rebuilding Bowl (Magic at Pistons, 7:30 PM ET):
Dwight Howard has been on an absolute tear this season, and there’s not much to indicate he won’t continue against a team whose sole win on the year has come against the lowly Nets.
The Flying Death Machine Bowl (Hawks at Heat, 7:30 PM ET):
Atlanta’s gotten off to a solid start. Miami has looked all but unstoppable in the early going. One thing’s for sure: this one will be closer than last night’s Heat blowout of the Bobcats.
The Lethargy Bowl (Pacers at Nets, 7:30 PM ET):
The Pacers are 3-1 but have struggled to hit shots after everyone predicted big things from them at the start of the season. The Nets are the Nets. This win won’t be particularly encouraging for whoever gets it, unless the Pacers blow it out.
The Bargnani-Harrellson Bowl (Raptors at Knicks, 7:30 PM ET):
Amar’e Stoudemire is out once again for New York, leaving a window for rookie Josh Harrellson to continue his surprising play. The Raps generally suck, but Andrea Bargnani is off to a solid start.
The Hair Club for Men Youth and Experience Bowl (Spurs at Timberwolves, 8:00 PM ET):
These teams are polar opposites, an ancient perennial contender on the way down and a young perennial bottom-feeder on the way up. It goes without saying that Ricky Rubio-Tony Parker is the matchup to watch here.
The National Title Game Going By BCS Preseason Rankings (Thunder at Mavericks, 8:30 PM ET, NBA TV):
Dallas has still only beaten the Raptors, but after a thrilling, down-to-the-wire matchup between these two teams last week, there are a few signs of life for the defending champs. They need this one, badly, in order to stave off another round of hitting the panic button. But OKC is off to a torrid start and will give them everything they can handle in the second Western Conference Finals rematch of the year.
The Neverland Class-of-2009 Point Guard Bowl (Bucks at Nuggets, 9:00 PM ET):
The Bucks kick off a tough road trip tonight, and this is the best opportunity they’ll have to steal one from a better team. Not only Denver on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back, but they’re coming off two consecutive bloodbaths with the Lakers, which they split. They’ll be tired to say the least.
The Championship Vinyl Rejected Lovers Bowl (Hornets at Jazz, 9:00 PM ET):
This matchup, between two teams jilted by superstar point guards who decided they were out of their league, is a lot like Rob Fleming’s relationship with Sarah Kendrew in High Fidelity. But with Eric Gordon out for the Hornets and the Jazz looking pretty woeful to start the season, it’s not likely to crack anyone’s top-5 memorable matchups.