This season is my favorite. In my lifetime as a fan, it's never come at me so quickly, with the same intensity. It's the acceleration that makes it that much better. There's always decent games on. It's awesome! What's worth watching this week (all times are eastern)?
Monday at 7:30 PM, the Magic look to dismantle the Celtics. Two teams who need to show they can compete. Boston has started shaky, but Danny Ainge still has confidence they can come out of it. That trust is unrivaled and Boston still has plenty of time to show they're formidable. They'll play much better than they have. Conditioning, camaraderie and rhythm are still forming.
The Magic record looks better than the Celtics, but it's far from proving anything. The Magic really are nothing without Dwight and that's the simple truth. They aren't a deep team. They have no one two punch. It's only Howard and whoever happens to get it going.
Brandon Bass leaving may have hurt the Magic more than initially thought. While Bass isn't an every night scoring punch, he's more consistent than most of the Magic players. His mid-range and post game are something the Magic need more of. Orlando needs someone else who can get 20 on any given night. Bass was the closest one to that.
Boston wins this, they'll start to get on a roll.
Tuesday at 7:00 PM, Orlando takes on Indiana. The Magic two nights in a row? Yep! These are important games. Roy Hibbert vs. Dwight Howard will be fun. Key for the Pacers is to keep Hibbert out of foul trouble, allowing him to defend Howard and be a scoring threat. Indiana is the better team. They have more of a team and they're deep. Seeing as this the end of a back-to-back for Orlando, the Pacers will win.
Wednesday at 8:00 PM, Indiana looks to dehorn the Bulls. Pacers again now?? Pacers have two important games. Darren Collison vs. Derrick Rose is the key to the game. Whoever dominates that matchup, that team will win. Derrick Rose outplays Collison, Bulls win.
Thursday at 10:30 PM, the Clippers play the Grizzlies. Can the Clippers and Grizzlies do anything in the playoffs? Unclear so far, besides getting there. We'll see how these two play. CP3 vs. Mike Conley will be a strong indicator of who wins. Energy guys like Tony Allen and Mo Williams will be the second factor. Clippers come out with more energy and win.
Friday at 7:30 PM, the Pacers battle the Celtics. Pacers have an excruciatingly important week. This test will be strong. Can they sustain their level of play? They can. While they are playing a ton of key match-ups, they are a young team that can bounce back (though having Jeff Foster injured hurts). Boston is continuing to round into shape, they'll be ready for this game. Celtics win, though it'll be close.
Saturday at 8:00 PM, the Rockets battle the Big Apple and the Knicks. The Knicks are tough to watch, but the Rockets are refreshing. That being said, these two teams could compete on the same level. Rockets win because they play on both ends.
Sunday at 3:30 PM, the Bulls look to cool the Heat. Fun game this will be! D. Rose, LBJ, Bosh, the whole gang. Hopefully Wade can return. Can the Heat stop Derrick Rose? That's the #1 factor. So long as Rose gets his, the only hope for Miami would be the rest of the Bulls not balling. Bulls take this. This will be a close, competitive and defense heavy game.
What are you looking forward to this week?
Get more great NBA stuff over at NBAtipoff.