Monday at 8:00 PM, the Thunder look to storm on the Mavericks. The Mavericks are still rounding into shape and the Thunder have looked crisp. The PG matchup, Jason Kidd vs. Russell Westbrook, will be key. These guys not only get their teammates going, they provide a full array of stats and intangibles. While that matchup may not be a barometer of who wins this game (too many other key players), it will be a guide to seeing who comes out on top.
This could be a possible playoff matchup. The problem I see for OKC is how do you defend Dirk? Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins aren't guys who are great defending the perimeter. While KD may have the length to do it, do you want him to guard the best player and use a bunch of energy? This is an issue we could see in this game and in a future playoff matchup. Dallas will take advantage of this and win.
Tuesday at 8:30 PM, the Knicks battle the Mavericks. While Pacers-Hawks was a close second, this will be another test for Jeremy Lin. He's faced this team already, in addition to the Heat and Celtics. Against the tough defenses, Jeremy Lin has inevitably had a tough time. Maybe he can make more strides and limit his turnovers and mistakes in this game. Keep in mind that on Febuary 19th the Knicks won a close one against the Mavs. Even though the Mavs will be coming off of a back-to-back, they'll remember that loss and avenge it.
Wednesday at 7:00 PM, the Sixers will try and outplay the Celtics. Rajon Rondo is carrying the Celtics. His numbers, contributions and talent are off the chart. He's the constant key to this team succeeding. The Sixers are still on the come up and they'll fight in this game. Expect players to dive for loose balls, battle down low and put on a thrilling show. Sixers will take this game, they're too quick for the older C's.
Thursday at 8:00 PM, the Bulls look to run through the Magic. On a two game Thursday, this looked best. Chicago clearly has the better team, but you never know when the Magic will actually bring a solid 48 minutes. Hopefully they will considering this is a nationally televised game. Chicago wins, they're just a contender, while the Magic are a playoff team at best.
Friday at 8:00 PM, the Timberwolves hope to bite the Lakers. Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and crew vs. Kobe, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Sounds exciting. It'd be cool to see Kobe guard Rubio some. If Rubio comes out with a big game, expect to see Kobe rise to the challenge. The Timberwolves will keep this competitive throughout, but the Lakers savvy will outmuscle the Wolves youth.
Saturday at 7:30 PM, the Heat try and bring the Pacers into the sauna. What's great about this matchup? The Pacers usually play contenders tight. While they can be super inconsistent, they typically bring it in a game like this. Not only will the Pacers bring it in this game, they'll win. Why? The Heat will commit too many turnovers and Darren Collison will get the Pacers to capitalize. Pacers get out on the fastbreak and win.
Sunday at 3:30 PM, the Celtics and Lakers matchup. Todays version of a classic! Will be great to watch. Rondo will of course be a problem for the Lakers. In the finals, Kobe takes the assignment of guarding him. Hopefully he will this Sunday. Derek Fisher is a defensive liability regardless of who Kobe guards. Fisher can't run with Ray Allen off of screens easily and they may post Allen up against Fisher. Mike Brown and the Lakers have to work through that. The Lakers will try, but the Celtics and Rondo will be too much for them. Celtics win.
What NBA game is catching your eye this week?