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NBA Incoming: Previewing the Week Ahead (Nov 26)

Following a week of explosive action and a variety of headline-makers, the NBA returns this week with another schedule chock-full of intriguing matchups and potential storyline-busters. Let’s now take the opportunity to check out five of the best fixtures on this week’s schedule.

New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets (Monday)

Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets welcome New York to the Barclays Center in this postponed fixture.

Originally set to be the season opener for both sides, Hurricane Sandy wiped out this fixture on Nov. 1, leaving the Knicks to open against Miami in Madison Square Garden and the Nets to welcome Toronto for the inaugural game at Barclays Center.

The rescheduled game sees both teams having had a very good start to the season. New York has surprised everybody by dashing out of the gates and racking-up a 6-0 start and eight wins from its first nine. Somewhat overshadowed by its Big Apple rivals, New Jersey took six of the first seven before cooling off.

Monday night’s game will be the perfect opportunity for the upstart Nets to defer some of the attention away from Carmelo and Co.

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (Wednesday)

Fans of both sides could be seen circling this date before the ink was even dry on James Harden’s $80 million contract. Now Harden takes to the court against his old team for the first time.

Houston got off to a fast start with some gaudy numbers from Harden but the pace quickly slowed for the Texas side, as did the record books. The Rockets have lost four straight on the road after winning the first two.

Oklahoma City meanwhile has shrugged off a shaky start and seized control of the Northwest Division. Harden’s replacement, Kevin Martin, is fitting in nicely, averaging about 16 points in 30 minutes of play, while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook continue to pace the team.

San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat (Thursday)

Ray Allen and the Miami Heat welcome San Antonio in a matchup of conference powerhouses.

San Antonio arrives in South Beach for its sixth road game in nine days.

So far this season, Miami has struggled against the league’s other top contenders – losing to the Knicks, Grizzlies and Clippers – so this test against San Antonio will be a good chance to prove that the side has what it takes to repeat as champions.

The Heat will have a decisive advantage over the Spurs; this will only be Miami’s second game since Thanksgiving, compared to the Spurs’ fifth. Questions would certainly be asked if the Heat were to lose to the road-weary Spurs.

Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat (Saturday)

Miami’s next test will come in the form of the visiting Brooklyn Nets. Audience figures are all but guaranteed as the two glamor teams of the Eastern Conference collide.

The Nets will look on this game as an opportunity to impress against one of the league’s elite sides, while the Heat will very much be on upset alert. As with the San Antonio game though, the Heat will have an advantage in scheduling; the Nets arrive in Miami for the sixth game in nine days, a stint that includes two back-to-back sets.

Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs (Saturday)

Southwest Division powerhouses San Antonio and Memphis clash on Saturday.

Things don’t get any easier for the Spurs once they jet home from Miami. After resting on Friday, San Antonio welcomes Southwest Division-leading and cream of the Western Conference crop, Memphis.

The Grizzlies strong start to the season has come as a surprise to many, particularly as O.J. Mayo is now plying his trade down in Dallas, but Lionel Hollins’ side has continued to win. An eight-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Nuggets, but a win over the Lakers on Friday night could be the start of another impressive win streak.

This showdown, the first of four meetings between the sides, will be a good barometer of how both teams really stack up this season.

In Brief…

Of course, the Magic’s trip to the Lakers was more than a little tempting to add to our top five games this week, but in reality, it’s Dwight Howard’s return to Orlando (Mar. 12) that will be the real headline-maker. … Speaking of the Lakers, Mike D’Antoni’s side will have a chance to try and steady another rocky patch – which has seen losses to Sacramento and Memphis but a win over Dallas – this week with home games against Indiana, Denver, and the aforementioned Orlando. … Kevin Love’s return in Minnesota continues with games against Sacramento, the Clippers, and Milwaukee. … Boston – another team looking to turn the corner – faces Brooklyn in an enticing Atlantic Division match-up on Monday before hosting Portland (Fri.) and traveling to Milwaukee (Sat.) later in the week. … Finally, the lowly Wizards continue to hunt that elusive first win, facing San Antonio (Mon.), Portland (Wed.), and New York (Fri.).


Upcoming NBA Schedule


Monday 26 November

San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards

New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets

Portland Trailblazers at Detroit Pistons

Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls

Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies

Charlotte Bobcats at Oklahoma City Thunder

Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz

New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles Clippers


Tuesday 27: DAL @ PHI | PHX @ CLE | TOR @ HOU | MIN @ SAC | IND @ LAL

Wednesday 28: POR @ WAS | SAS @ ORL | BKN @ BOS | CHA @ ATL | PHX @ DET | DAL @ CHI | NYK @ MIL | TOR @ MEM | UTA @ NOH | HOU @ OKC | MIN @ LAC

Thursday 29: SAS @ MIA | DEN @ GSW

Friday 30: PHX @ TOR | PHI @ CHA | BKN @ ORL | POR @ BOS | WAS @ NYK | CLE @ ATL | DET @ MEM | UTA @ OKC | MIL @ MIN | IND @ SAC | DEN @ LAL

Saturday 1: BKN @ MIA | POR @ CLE | PHI @ CHI | OKC @ NOH | UTA @ HOU | BOS @ MIL | MEM @ SAS | DET @ DAL | SAC @ LAC | IND @ GSW

Sunday 2: PHX @ NYK | ORL @ LAL

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