LaMarcus Aldridge is having a fabulous season. He and the Portland Trail Blazers are the surprise of the NBA. Lucky for you, the NBA has presented a perfect opportunity to catch the Trail Blazers and other great teams in action this week. Don’t miss it. (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
Football is done for two weeks. You can either catch up on which vixen is winning Juan Pablo’s heart or you can indulge yourself in some fantastic NBA matchups.
You don’t even need to pull up your TV Guide or jump on your computer to find out who’s on and when. I’ll do all the work for you and tell you which games to watch. And there are no programming excuses. NBA League Pass is giving you a FREE TRIAL all week. So sit down, grab your favorite beverage, eat some food, get fat and watch the world’s premiere athletes put a round orange ball into a piece of circular red steel. (Surprise! It’s not actually iron.)
Monday, January 20
Portland at Houston 8PM ET (TNT)
The Rockets are either awesome or awful as witnessed last Thursday when they scored 73 1st half points only to follow up with 19 in the 2nd. Portland is one of the most exciting teams to watch. They’re young, athletic, drain a ton of threes and Damian Lillard is one scary talented dude. The chip on his shoulder is almost as big as the onions he plays with.
Indiana at Golden State 10:30PM ET (TNT)
The league’s best defense battling the league’s most prolific backcourt. If you haven’t been paying attention, Seth Curry is probably the most fun player to watch nowadays. When he’s hot, everything is in play. If you haven’t seen Paul George this season, now would be a good time to get acquainted with one of the NBA’s top seven stars. If you can, stick around for the postgame show. Inside the NBA is worth recording on a weekly basis, but only if you like to laugh and be entertained.
Tuesday, January 21
Portland at Oklahoma City 8PM ET (League Pass)
LaMarcus Aldridge is un-guardable. His turnaround fadeaway isn’t quite on Dirk’s level yet, but it’s getting there. Unless you’re eight feet tall, there’s no blocking it. And Aldridge doesn’t mind banging down in the post either. He’s what you’d call a “problem” for the opposition. Oh, Kevin Durant is pretty good, too. Given his recent streak of 30+ points, he could go for 40. And don’t sleep on Reggie Jackson of the Thunder. His runner in the paint is devastating.
Wednesday, January 22
Oklahoma City at San Antonio 8PM ET (ESPN)
The Spurs have struggled against the NBA’s elite thus far. They’re 1-8, so this is an important test. If you like ball movement and multiple guys scoring in double digits but no one going for 30, then the Spurs are for you. Watch Manu Ginobili play and tell me you don’t wish he were your dad. You can’t. As for the Thunder, the more elite teams they beat without Russell Westbrook the bigger their confidence grows for the playoffs.
Thursday, January 23
Nothing great to see today. Denver and Portland could get into a shootout but take the day off and recharge your batteries for a busy NBA weekend. Also, make sure you check into the postgame show on TNT for Shaqtin’ A Fool. Best three minutes of my week.
Friday, January 24
Los Angeles (Clippers) at Chicago 8PM ET (ESPN)
This may not be a great game given Chicago’s injury issues, but the Bulls play well at home. Also, Blake Griffin is on a monster run. He’s easy to despise and root against but it’s hard to ignore the talent. Too bad his commercials are so bad this year after strong showings the two years prior.
Memphis at Houston 8PM ET (League Pass)
Marc Gasol is back and that means the Grizzlies are fun to watch again. Besides, anytime you can see Dwight Howard get bullied around in the paint is a good time. Nobody whines more about contact than Howard. Ok, maybe Blake Griffin is right there, but it’s close.
Saturday, January 25
Houston at Memphis 8PM ET (League Pass)
The good old home-and-home. If you were bored by Friday’s contest, try paying attention to James Harden on the defensive end. You’ll notice he’s putting in the same amount of effort as you are from your couch.
Minnesota at Portland (League Pass)
Minnesota isn’t very good but they score points. A lot of points. As does Portland. This should be a high scoring, entertaining shootout. It also features two of the top three power forwards in the NBA. Who is the best depends on who you ask, but LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are definitely 1, 2, or 3. If bigs don’t interest you, watch Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews light it up from deep. Both rank in the top ten in the NBA from three.
Sunday, January 26
San Antonio at Miami 1PM ET (ABC)
Sunday afternoon basketball is back. Though the late afternoon game is a snoozer between lousy teams, a rematch of an epic NBA Finals should be thrilling TV. Assuming of course I can get through the game without horrific flashbacks to Games 6 and 7. Enjoy Tim Duncan while you can, America. Two years from now you’ll certainly miss him.
Portland at Golden State 9PM ET (League Pass)
Basketballs will be raining down from three point land all night. A blowout by the Warriors is possible, though. This will be Portland’s fifth game in seven nights and three of those games were away from home against the West’s elite. But still, games with the offensive firepower of these two can’t be missed.