Tomorrow’s slate of games might be the best of the entire season, but that doesn’t mean Saturday night’s less stellar matchups should be treated like cold leftovers. Cold pizza is food all the same, and occasionally delicious.
Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers (7:00 PM EST)
Spencer Hawes is supposed to return to play tonight, and all is once again right in the NBA world. It doesn’t matter that the Pistons are involved in this game, and that every quarter is likely to slow the very passage of time. The game won’t be played at the oft-empty Pistons’ arena, and Spencer Hawes is back!
Washington Wizards at Charlotte Bobcats (7:00 PM EST)
Two of the teams in the Anthony Davis’ Sweepstakes face off in a terrible, likely depressing matchup. Usually I say something like, “The only reason you should watch this game is if you really love one of these teams.” In this case, I won’t even make that qualifier. This brand of bad basketball could seriously threaten one’s love of the game.
New York Knicks at Houston Rockets (8:00 PM EST)
Soon enough, online thesauruses will include the word “Knicks” as a synonym for “desperate”. Despite the possible problem-alleviating of Baron Davis on the horizon, the Knicks find themselves with a paltry 7-12 record, an injured star, and an aging star struggling mightily early on in the season. The Knicks need a good performance from Amar’e to win this game, but that thought has held true often for the Knicks lately, and to no avail. On the Rockets’ side of things, Kyle Lowry will look to rebound from his shooting woes, and Chandler Parsons will probably do something awesome.
Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks (8:30 PM EST)
The Bucks consistently have a habit of forcing teams to play down to their slow, debilitating level. This results in slow, ugly, and close games, regardless of personnel. It usually won’t be a fun 84-80, but the score will remain close nonetheless. I expect no different tonight.
Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns (9:00 PM EST)
Fresh off a dismal performance against the Blazers that involved a 38-point loss, a 20-rebound performance from Marcus Camby, and a heightened number of calls for a Steve Nash trade, the Suns look to appear less abysmal in the face of a hard-charging Grizzlies’ team. That won’t be an easy task, given the Grizzlies’ impressive performance in recent weeks and the Suns’ dearth of good players. Of course, this could be Sebastian Telfair’s chance to finally shock the world, a la Luke Babbitt:
Luke Babbitt: Basketball Hero?
Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz (9:00 PM EST)
The Kings are a team easily defined, characterized by youth, individual play, and a lack of distribution. In contrast, the Jazz might be the most nebulous team in the league. Namely, the question remains whether their strong starts was a product of schedule or chance. Today, they’re playoff contenders. Months from now, they could make a pick in the draft lottery. These are the games good teams tend to win, against ill-fitting and lottery-bound squads. The surprising momentum of the Jazz has tempered off in recent games. This opponent affords them the chance to regain some of that lost momentum.