As we close in on the Christmas holiday, we start the week with 7 teams within 4 1/2 games in the West, and three teams within a game in the East (and that doesn’t include Chicago or Cleveland). The Warriors come into the week on a 15-game winning streak, but face Memphis and Oklahoma City. Memphis, meanwhile, have a very tough week against the Warriors, Spurs, Bulls, and Cavs.
Below is an exciting match up per day for this coming week that you should check out:
Monday, December 15th – Bulls at Hawks, 7:30pm ET on NBA League Pass
The Bulls come into the week on a 2-game winning streak including an impressive win over the Blazers at home. The Hawks are 9-1 in their last 10 games, with a 9 game winning streak disrupted by a last second loss to the Magic. The Hawks are currently 1 1/2 games up in the standings, something even the most die-hard Hawks fan didn’t expect, but the Bulls – if healthy – are poised to take on all comers in the East.
Tuesday, December 16th – Warriors at Grizzlies, 8:00pm ET on ESPN
A match-up of the top two teams in the West (and the NBA as a whole). The Warriors come in on a 15 game winning streak, while the Grizzlies have won 4 straight and face a tough week (as you’ll see below). This has potential to be the best game of the year so far.
Wednesday, December 17th – Grizzlies at Spurs, 8:30pm ET on NBA League Pass
A night after they host the top team in the league, the Grizzlies head to their bitter rivals – the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are having their average ho-hum year – 16-7 in 5th coming into the week – but have had losses in some weird places (Brooklyn, Lakers) and have at times seemed to lack focus to put teams away. This is the defining week for the Grizzlies, so if they can get to mid-week 2-0 they will start to get the respect they so seriously desire.
Thursday, December 18th – Thunder at Warriors, 10:30pm ET on TNT
Last week, the Thunder got a win on National TV – establishing themselves as “back” after injuries to two of the top 10 players in the league. That’s all well and good except the win was over a Lebron-less Cavs team. This week, they travel to Golden State – the top team in the league – in a 2nd level of “proof” game for a team that is just starting to gel.
Friday, December 19th – Bulls at Grizzlies, 8:00pm ET on NBA League Pass
Hell week for the Grizzlies continues with a visit from the Bulls. A battle between the Gasol brothers promises to be great – and will be complimented by Randolph against Noah.
Saturday, December 20th – Hawks at Rockets, 8:00pm ET on NBA League Pass
With Howard back (he had 26 in his return), the Rockets are even more scary – going 8-2 in their last 10 without Dwight. This will be a nice test for the Hawks, who have excelled in the East with an easy schedule so far. If Howard can stay with the team all week, we could get a chance to see how good the Rockets really are – and if the Hawks can get wins against Chicago and Houston, we will have to start talking more seriously about them.
Sunday, December 21st – Grizzlies at Cavs, 4:30pm ET on NBA League Pass
The Grizzlies finish out their worst week of the season with a trip to Cleveland – a team that will be looking to get a win against a top-tier team from the west. So far, the Cavs have been on-and-off and come into the week in 5th place with a 13-9 record – hardly what they were expecting coming into the year. By Sunday, we’ll know a lot more about the Grizzlies – but this game might go a long way to telling us about the Cavs as well.