Don't Stand On The Quisy When The Hawks Are Comin' Through (Hawks at Pacers): Is Danny Granger crazy? Probably a little. He's certainly crazy about the Hawks. He lit them up for 34 when last they met, including shooting 72% from the field and um, well, lighting the building on fire. The Hawks are rolling, having won 5 in a row. But this is a back to back coming off an 8 game homestand, first game back on the road, last game before New Year's, and yeah. So essentially what we have here is a recipe for disaster. With Quisy Daniels.
You're Going To Love Them And Forget Them So You Might As Well Love Them Lots(New York at Charlotte): I feel like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters... . "This means something." In the end scene of that film (that goes on for about a half hour), they do that awesome special effect where all the clouds boil together over one place, in that instance Devils Tower. In this instance, it's Madison Square Garden. This is a perfect storm of oversized combo forwards with no respect towards defense, underachieving shooters, uncoordinated big men, random hustle junkies, and Wilson Chandler. Al Harrington, the DÁntoni edition meets Boris Diaw, untethered from expecations and free to roam. Gerald Wallace versus David Lee. And to top it all off, you have the former DÁntoni favorites Bell and Diaw to mix with the trade rumors linking them towards a reunion. Come inside, come inside.
The Devil Knows You're Dead (Cleveland at Miami): LeBron vanquished Wade the other night, even though Wade had a more explosive game. So now they meet again, this time in South Beach. Since there's little chance Riley will get off his ass and trade Marion for the composite pieces he needs to in the next 13 hours, the result should be largely the same. However, you're not going to find much better of a matchup. The Heat are damn entertaining this year, as expected. The Cavs are efficient and deadly. The big problem for the Heat is they're simply outgunned at point guard and power forward. They're second biggest problem is that they don't have LeBron James. Don't get me wrong, Wade's a NOVA machine in his own right, but LBJ has too much raw power for defenses right now. Also bear in mind that Delonte West and Shawn Marion will be sharing a floor tonight. You might as well announce "Paranoia" as a starter.
Look Who's On A Winning Streak (Washington at New Orleans): There is a basketball-like substance in Washington. Repeat, a basketball-like substance in Washington. Do not attempt to subdue the basketball. The Hornets are either cruising or drifting, and there's not much to use to decipher which. So it's entirely possible that the Wizards could pull this thing off, especially with Mike James' added motivation. Or, probability can show up and, well, the Wizards can lose, lose, lose badly. Unlike the Rockets, the Hornets are capable of actually finding their own asses.
Got Some Bad News For You There, Shaqy-Poo (Suns at Grizzlies): You're losing tonight, you big, overrated, chemistry-killing, small-guard-hanging-out-to-dry, pain in the ass. I know, spoken like a true Grizzlies fan, right? Look. Nash may not play with back spasms. The Grizzlies lost a nailbiter to the Spurs, then let the Timberwolves slip away. Mayo's playing like a bomb gone off, and the Suns are overly due for a "Holy Hell, how did they lose that game?"game. A back-to-back for the Suns, on the road, injuries, and OJ Mayo. Goodnight, Moon.
Team-That-Can't-Win-Playoff-Games, Meet Team-That-Can't-Win-Games (Minnesota at Dallas): Josh Howard's pretty good, Dirk Nowitzki is better, the Mavericks will win. Al Jefferson is fun to watch, but after last night, he's going to be exhausted.
It's Not A Race, It's War Of Attrition And The Spurs Are Killing Themselves (Milwaukee at San Antonio): The Bucks are almost as even as they can be in every way. The Spurs have devised a nice pattern. Fall behind for three quarters. Apply pressure in the fourth. Take lead inside two minutes. Coast to victory like you'd always expected it. The Bucks may actually be a more complete team right now than the Spurs. How insane is that? I like the Bucks in an upset, because the Spurs are due for their luck to run out and the Bucks have to catch a break at some point.
Ironmonger, Meet The Ore Mine (Boston at Portland): Both teams are flawed, both teams are discombobulated, both teams need a pick me up. Beating Sacramento does not count. The Blazers have depth, but the Celtics have experience. This is a pretty striking contrast, and honestly, anything could happen and I wouldn't be surprised.
LA Clippers at Sacramento Kings: A game so terrible it's not worthy of pithy headlines. Only watch on doctor's orders.