NBA Incoming: Previewing the Week Ahead (Jan. 1)

With the New Year rolling in, fresh starts and continued momentum are on the agenda for all 30 NBA sides. The likes of Charlotte, New Orleans, and Brooklyn will be looking to put wins on the board, whilst the league’s high-ranking sides will hope to keep on rolling.

It all starts on New Year’s Day as the NBA begins the charge towards All-Star Weekend (Feb. 15-17) and beyond.

Now, serves up its weekly pick of the best games on the Association slate this week, including a heavy dose of the front-running Los Angeles Clippers.

Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors (Wednesday)

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers (Saturday)

Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers will look to stretch a 17-game winning streak even further this week.

Winners of 17 straight, the Clippers (25-6) find themselves with the best record in the NBA. Vinny Del Negro – an early candidate for Coach of the Year – will know his side will have to perform well this week if it’s to remain at the top of the pecking order.

The Clippers will play the upstart Golden State Warriors (21-10) twice this week, beginning with a trip to Oakland on Wednesday. The Warriors will look to derail the Clippers, solidifying their own reputation as a playoff caliber side. A return match at Staples Center will be equally as intriguing on Saturday.

Brooklyn Nets at Oklahoma City (Wednesday)

After a hot start to the season turned into a tailspin, Brooklyn (16-15) remains a team to watch, but for all the wrong reasons. Whether the firing of head coach Avery Johnson will aid the side remains to be seen, but the Nets are in all kinds of trouble. A five-point third quarter against San Antonio on Monday night is clear indication of that.

A 104-73 drubbing at the hands of the Spurs won’t get any easier as the Nets travel to Oklahoma City (24-6), the team with the second best record in the league. The Thunder followed up Christmas Day’s loss to Miami with three straight wins and will look at this game against the Nets as an opportunity to exert its dominance.

San Antonio Spurs at New York Knicks (Thursday)

Having hammered Brooklyn on Monday night, the San Antonio Spurs will look to make it a NYC double by beating the Knicks on Thursday.

After trouncing Brooklyn, San Antonio (25-8) will look to do likewise to the Nets’ fellow Big Apple residents on Thursday. New York (21-9) has fallen off its own frenzied pace with four losses in seven games of late, but will relish the opportunity to derail one of the Western Conference’s most dominant sides.

The Spurs rank third in the NBA in terms of overall record, behind the Clippers and Thunder. Wins over teams like New York are essential to keeping pace. The Knicks meanwhile will look to catch Miami at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat (Friday)

Following a Christmas Day win over Oklahoma City, Miami (21-8) slipped-up against Detroit and Milwaukee this past week. A win over Orlando has somewhat righted the ship, but a win over Chicago is much needed.

Chicago (16-13) continues its bid to stay in the playoff hunt sans Derrick Rose. The Bulls have been somewhat of a surprise this season, remaining in the thick of a three-way Central Division tussle with Indiana and Milwaukee, and on pace to make the playoffs. A win over Miami in the first of four meetings this season would be a serious confidence booster.

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers (Friday)

We'll get a clear indication of how improved the Lakers are when Steve Nash and Co. meet the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Finally, sandwiched between its games against Golden State, the Clippers will meet cross-hall rivals the Lakers (15-15) on Friday. A somewhat resurgent Lakers side has won six of the last seven, including three of four since the return of Steve Nash. The Clippers defeated the Lakers 105-95 back on Nov. 2, but Mike D’Antoni’s side will like their chances in this one.


Upcoming NBA Schedule

Tue 1: DAL @ WAS | POR @ NYK | SAC @ DET | ATL @ NOH | LAC @ DEN | PHI @ LAL

Wed 2: POR @ TOR | CHI @ ORL | SAC @ CLE | WAS @ IND | MEM @ BOS | DAL @ MIA | SAS @ MIL | NOH @ HOU | BKN @ OKC | MIN @ UTA | PHI @ PHX | LAC @ GSW

Thu 3: SAS @ NYK | MIN @ DEN

Fri 4: SAC @ TOR | BKN @ WAS |CLE @ CHA | ATL @ DET | CHI @ MIA | IND @ BOS | POR @ MEM | PHI @ OKC | HOU @ MIL | UTA @ PHX | LAL @ LAC

Sat 5: BOS @ ATL | NYK @ ORK | MIL @ IND | SAC @ BKN | HOU @ CLE | POR @ MIN | NOH @ DAL | PHI @ SAS | UTA @ DEN | GSW @ LAC

Sun 6: OKC @ TOR | WAS @ MIA | CHA @ DET | MEM @ PHX

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