Reasons to Watch The Games of the NBA Tonight:
In The NBA, They're Not Called 'Annoying,' They're Called 'High Motor'!:
Denver at Cleveland
Ronaldo Balkman versus Anderson Varejao. Ye Gods.
Forget LeBron V. Melo. We all know that was the rivalry that wasn't, that LeBron is iconic and Melo is just kind of there. The real matchup is Varejao, who makes aliving off irritating other people with flops, spastic rebounds, and missed jumpers versus Balkman who's had a coming out party since his arrival in Denver. They both are likely to go diving out of bounds for a looseball, which of course leaves their men open for scores. Both have interesting hair. This is a classic matchup.
Meanwhile, Mo Peterson versus Chauncey Billups is kind of enticing, and you've got J.R. Smith versus Delonte West in the "not quite right" bowl. This one's a lot tighter than you might think. Cleveland's been impressively succinct so far this season, while Denver's been all over the place. The Nuggets need to continue their improved defense and usse Nene to neutralize the Cavs big frontcourt. Problem is, you have to keep someone back on James. James has scored 41 in three straight games. I have a feeling he might go over that tonight.
8PM EST, TNT.
Well, They're Technically Both First-Year Coaches:
Dallas at Chicago.
Vinny Del Negro faces off against Rick Carlisle tonight, only Carlisle has about a million more years experience. But hey, both are first years! Del Negro's job actually becomes easier and easier. With Rose's emergence as a superstar and the injuries to the backcourt, he essentially just has to say "Go get 'em, Derrick!" The frontcourt is a bit more complicated. Tyrus Thomas has been underwhelming for what seems like the sixth straight year, and Joakim Noah just seems lost. Neither are very well suited to their position and they don't fit in the offense at all.
Conversely, everyone knows where everyone goes on the Mavs, they just don't have the guns to win all their games. Kidd's not playing badly, even shooting well, and Josh Howard has been good but injured. Dirk's been his usual self but not his best-self. This one could be interesting because the Bulls can sneak up on you if you don't take them seriously, like Phoenix found out. On the other hand, the Mavericks need a series of wins to get back on track. Watch out for Ben Gordan versus Jason Terry, which should be entertaining in a "match-this" sort of way, and Dampier should have a pretty easy time with the young 'uns. Get off his lawn.
8:30PM EST, CSNC
When Will You Learn?:
Detroit at Golden State.
Detroit's lost two games. Two. Yet everyone seems to think that this Iverson thing is a debacle. Hey, adding a Hall of Famer without having to commit longterm? There's nothing bad about that. Period. Meanwhile, moving Tayshaun to point forward I think is genius. It lets the weapons that the Pistons have be weapons, while giving Tayshaun the opportunity to create. This could get real scary. Be warned.
Golden State is lost. They don't really know what they're doing at this point. Harrington's not playing, Maggette's hurt, Turiaf has been non-existent, Jackson's good and Buike's good, and Biedrins is every other game. But this team doesn't have an identity, or a pattern. The young guys playing is good, but you get the feeling their leash is incredibly short. We'll see how short against a veteran Detroit club.
10:30PM EST, TNT