Short schedule tonight, which means it's Thursday. Nice rack of games, though. Tonight's games remind me of lamb chops. Smaller, but succulent.
REASONS TO WATCH THE GAMES OF THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION TONIGHT:
If Sean May And Ben Wallace Collide, The Earth's Gravitational Pull May Be Shifted (Matt):
I like how in the first game of the season, the Cavs came out and looked finally like a contender for thirty minutes. Competent guard play from Mo Williams (if not enough dimes), slashing and scoring from Delonte West, decent shooting and defensive hustle. And then it's like the third quarter came and the Cavs went "Wait a tick. This isn't us. We've got to get back to who we are, man! Now let's go out there and miss some easy buckets!" Odds are that LeBron brings a pain stick for Charlotte tonight and takes out his frustrations on a squad that looks more and more like it could struggle even more than last year in Larry Brown's first season. The Bobcats generally have one huge advantage with Gerald Wallace being the best combo-forward on the floor. That maaaay not be the case tonight when the King steps on the court. Throw in Z's ability to get Okafor up in the air, and you've got the makings of a talent-based blowout. Seeing Ammo versus Wally Szczerbiak in some sort of cross-anti-utopian nightmare battle should be entertaining though.
Gametime: 7PM EST on League Pass
A CRAZY PILL A DAY KEEPS THE RATIONAL THINKING AWAY! (Rob):
In this Episode of Crazy Pills Meets the Dallas Mavericks:
* Pills and Josh Howard talk politics while Artest is posting up
* Crazy Pills makes sure to give Mark Cuban some financial advice during a Rockets' timeout
* Crazy Pills asks Dirk if he misses being in "Spain or wherever you're from".
* …oh yeah, and he'll probably play some basketball.
Zany antics ensue!
Can't wait for this one. Finally, the double-header doesn't seem poised for one competitive game and one blowout (damn Lakers, ruining things as usual). Although, supposedly Carlisle's new offense is going to involve the Mavs shooting more threes, which they had been slowly moving away from under Avery. Do you think Carlisle knows that Jason Kidd is his starting point guard? For the sake of watching a competitive one, I hope to God that he does. The thought of Kidd shooting corner threes is making me a little woozy.
Think of all the drama in this game: Dirk and…wait, but Yao still…no, no, OH T-Mac that one time…gah…well, J-Kidd…dammit. Okay, this is a game full of non-confrontational stars. That can still be dramatic though right? And if not, you just give RonRon a shot in the arm during halftime (…seriously, dope him up if this game needs a kick in the pants) and he's a walking WILD CARD, B*TCHES! YEEEEEEEE-HAW!
But in all seriousness, this should be a great game. The JET is right on the money in proclaiming that the Mavs may be a bit underappreciated this season, and that's a good place for them. Meanwhile, the Rockets are coming off a surprisingly competitive game with Memphis and are trying to get into a winning groove. Not that you're really going to watch Cavs-Bobcats anyway (although I'd totally DVR that mofo, if I were you), but this is a must-see.
You Don't Bring A Diaw To A Gunfight (Or: Pick On Someone As Healthy As You) (Matt):
Corn and I both knew the Suns were going to win that game last night. The Spurs without Manu, the Suns playing inspired for new coach Terry Porter, Amare Stoudemire announcing his MVP candidacy, and it still came down to the wire. Such is Suns-Spurs. For the moment, and by moment I mean the next month, I'm willing to give the Suns the benefit of the doubt and buy into the new hybrid of offense and defense that they're selling. Under that condition, tonight's Hornets-Suns game should be fascinating. The Suns are beefier down low than they have been in years, and they're facing a Hornets team that's not very deep. You've got two of the best point guards in the league, Stoudemire versus West which is actually a pretty equal matchup, and Grant Hill versus Peja Stojakovic in a battle of 2001.
The real question here, ironically, is about the Hornets being tired. Playing a late West Coast game that went down to the wire against the Warriors, only to turn around and fly to Phoenix is a rough back-to back for this early in the season. The pick and roll implementation and defense will be interesting, as will if Terry Porter tells Stoudemire to cut off Chandler on the release to use his athleticism or stick with West for the possible catch and shoot. Chandler has an athletic advantage over any of the Suns big men, but you can't let West shoot 12-18 footers because that's holding the gun to your head. Conversely, keep an eye on the Hornets defensively to see if they try and trap Nash which could lead to Chandler getting in foul trouble against Stoudemire on the pick and roll, or if they opt for the "Make Nash Score" route. Should be a good one. Which means it'll be a blowout.
Gametime: 10:30PM EST, TNT