Tonight In The NBA: January 10th
With that being said, there will be no shortage of star power on display as 3 of the 4 games going involve one of the league's premier superstars. Moreover, the only game lacking the drawing power of a league-wide star happens to involve one of the NBA's most exciting young teams. It is safe to say that despite the number of games, Thursday should provide us with some quality basketball at the very least.
Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat - 7 pm ET
Playing in their second game of a back to back, the Boston Celtics take to the road to face the inconsistent Miami Heat. The Celtics beat up on the Pacers last night, jumping out to a lead in the first quarter that they wouldn't relinquish. Stevens has the Celtics playing great team basketball at the moment, as seemingly a different player steps up to the plate with a huge performance in every game.
Despite their struggles, the Heat have at times looked like one of the best teams in the NBA. Although they sit below .500, they have quality wins over San Antonio, Houston, Milwaukee, and Portland (among others). However, the Heat are a young team and at times make simple mental mistakes that keep them from winning when they should.
As the Celtics are coming off another game last night, look for this to be a tightly contested affair. That being said, the Celtics should still be able to pull this road win out as they are by and far the more talented team.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Denver Nuggets - 9 pm ET
Although this game may not have the drawing power of the Thunder vs Spurs matchup, this is a battle between two of the Western Conference's strongest teams. While many expected the Nuggets to contend in the West, the Clippers have been an entirely different story altogether.
Behind the strong play of Tobias Harris and an incredibly deep supporting cast, the Clippers have jumped out to a fantastic record of 24-16 with wins over a bevy of quality opponents. In fact, the Clippers took down these same Nuggets just a few weeks ago.
That said, the Clippers won in LA and this game comes at home for the Nuggets. At home, the nuggets post an absurd 16-3 mark at home on the year. Expect that trend to continue in what should be an exciting matchup that Denver will sneak away with late.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs - 9:30 pm ET
Coming off a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last night, the Spurs look to get back on track as they take on the Thunder at home. The Spurs are one of the best teams in the NBA when playing at the AT&T Center, going 17-5 at home on the year so far.
Led by the strong play of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs have turned their early season struggles around and are once again expected to be a contender (for runner up to the Warriors) in the West.
Meanwhile, the Thunder have fallen into a bit of a funk recently. The Thunder have just 5-5 over their last 10 games despite the outstanding play of Paul George. George and incumbent star Russell Westbrook have paired to form one of the most electric duos the NBA has to offer. When you add Steven Adams to the mix, you have the recipe for a very dangerous basketball team.
With both teams coming off uncharacteristic losses, this game should be the most competitive and exciting of the night. Although the Spurs get this matchup at home where they have been excellent, expect the Thunder to come out firing on all cylinders and put a stop to their 2-game losing streak.
Detroit Pistons @ Sacramento Kings - 10pm ET
Coming off an ugly loss to the Lakers, the Pistons head up north for the second leg of their California back to back.
The Pistons are reeling right now and a road back to back does them no favors. Although Griffin is averaging a robust 25.1 points per game and Andre Drummond is posting an otherworldly 15 rebounds per game, the Pistons don't offer much else. One of the thinner squads in the NBA, more and more teams are exploiting the Pistons' lack of depth as the season goes on.
On the other hand, the Kings are one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. Despite holding just a marginally better record than the Pistons, the Kings are filled with hope as they are by all accounts far outperforming most expectations.
The catalyst to the Kings' rebirth has been the continued growth of De'Aaron Fox. Fox has made major strides in his sophomore campaign and has quickly shown himself to be one of the most dynamic and athletic playmakers in the league.
The Pistons are in a bad spot and will be tired after facing a young and athletic Lakers team last night. Although the Kings are young and prone to boneheaded losses (see Tuesday night against the Suns), they will likely be locked in as they look to get back in the win column.
A short but sweet slate of games on the evening, each matchup provides something interesting to watch. Whether it be the Western Conference contender showdown between the Spurs and Thunder or a young and dynamic Kings trying to bounce back from a tough loss, each and every game should be fun. Enjoy the games, we'll be back tomorrow with a considerably more basketball-heavy day!