NBA Weekend Preview
Another weekend is finally here, which means that another weekend of NBA action is tipping off as well. Among the best games of the weekend are clashes between the two contenders in the Eastern Conference, as well as the two best teams in the NBA without question. These are the games you need to watch this weekend in the NBA.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers
This is a game that some would immediately assume that the Oklahoma City Thunder would win, but this is a tricky road game for them against an underrated Indiana Pacers squad. The Thunder have been very inconsistent this season, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook not always being enough to overcome their lack of depth and struggles against teams that are able to control the glass against them.
Indiana, meanwhile, have the players to keep up with the two stars on the Thunder, including Paul George, who has looked great this season in his first full year back from a gruesome leg injury. He should see some time matched up with Durant defensively in this game, which will be appointment viewing in a game that should come down to the wire given the struggles Oklahoma City have had away from home.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat
Well, this is always an awkward fixture. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers head to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat in this battle of Eastern Conference elites. Of course, everyone remembers James helping lead the Heat to two straight NBA Finals victories before leaving Miami in order to return to the Cavaliers, with whom he has yet to win a championship after losing last year’s NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.
As for the game itself, this one is very important for both teams. Miami finds itself fighting with the Boston Celtics for a top three place in the Eastern Conference, while the Cleveland Cavaliers need to keep winning in order to secure the top seed in the east. A big road win in this spot would be important not just in the standings, but from a confidence standpoint ahead of what will surely be a difficult stretch of games in Cleveland’s attempt to win an elusive NBA championship.
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
For the Golden State Warriors, a win here would be massive. It would all but guarantee them a great chance at breaking the NBA record for the most wins in a single season, and would shatter the confidence of the Spurs heading into what will probably be a Western Conference Finals between those two sides. A win for the Spurs, meanwhile, will prove that they are more than capable of taking the Warriors to the limit should the two teams meet with the Western Conference championship on the line.
It will be interesting to see what the Spurs do against the Warriors on defense in this game, and if a taller player like Kawhi Leonard is asked to use his excellent athleticism to guard the dynamic Steph Curry.
By: Jason M. Sanin