Another weekend is upon us, which means that another weekend of great NBA games is here to enjoy. This weekend features several championship contenders taking on one another in what should be fascinating affairs, and some promising young squads squaring off as well. Here are five of the best games to watch in the NBA this weekend.
5. Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans
This game could very well determine which team gets a playoff spot in the Western Conference come next season. Both the Suns and Pelicans were in the hunt for the west’s final playoff spot for much of last season, until the Pelicans came away with it at the end of the regular season. Whether either of them can compete for a postseason berth this season remains to be seen, but games like this one go a long way toward determining that as the season wears on.
4. Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Toronto has overcome a pretty tough schedule to open their season and are having a decent go of things so far in the Eastern Conference. They will continue a west coast trip against the supremely talented Clippers, who are going to present the Raptors some problems with their athleticism on the inside. With that said, once the Clippers give Chris Paul a rest, the Raptors should be able to feast on the defensively inept guards backing him up on the Clippers bench.
3. Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs
If you like skilled big men, this battle between the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies is for you. Memphis has a combination of an outright bruising big man in Zach Randolph, and a great all-around center in Marc Gasol. The Spurs, meanwhile, have the delightful duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan on the inside, which will make this game one of the few in the NBA that centers around the play of those inside the paint.
Of course, all of Memphis’ guard options taking on the likes of Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard will make for great television as well, but the rare center battle is the real attraction in this game.
2. Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons
On one side, the Washington Wizards have a great young team that can contend for the Eastern Conference Finals if managed properly, while the Pistons have surprised the league with the emergence of Andre Drummond as an elite big man. Whether either team has the players to stop one another at those positions will be a challenge, but seeing so many young stars in one game is a real treat.
1. Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta takes on Cleveland in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. You really can’t ask for much more than that, as the Hawks look to get their rapid ball movement offense back on track after last season’s surprising run of dominance. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are just looking to remain in one piece for when Kyrie Irving returns, while looking to continue a great start to the season. This will be the game of the weekend.
By: Jason M. Sanin