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NBA Incoming: Previewing the Week Ahead (Nov 5)

Sunday night saw the Los Angeles Lakers secure a first win of the season, demolishing a hapless Detroit Pistons side. With a schedule this week that includes Utah, Golden State, and Sacramento, it might take just one more week for those deserters to jump back on the purple and gold bandwagon.

Elsewhere, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Toronto all secured first wins of the season, leaving Denver, Detroit, Sacramento, and Washington as the Association’s only winless teams. By the end of this week, those four may be whittled down to one (Washington) or none.

Let’s look ahead then to the top five match-ups on this week’s NBA schedule.

Indiana Pacers at San Antonio Spurs (Monday)

Tony Parker and the Spurs will look to open the season with four straight wins for the first time in franchise history.

Monday night’s choice match-up features two teams with a legitimate shot at winning the NBA title, if you can look beyond the Miami Heat, that is.

Indiana (2-1, 1-1 road) proved last season that it could hang with the big boys, but has found the early-going a little shaky this season. Close wins over Toronto and Sacramento and a loss to Charlotte has the Pacers looking for a definitive win to get the season rolling.

San Antonio (3-0, 2-0 home) meanwhile has enjoyed a typically San Antonio start to the season, winning its opening three, including a last second victory over Oklahoma City. There’s still gas in the aging engine yet.

The two teams compete tonight in what promises to be a close game, and is sure to be a favorite with bettors. The Spurs enter as favorites (-6½) and, believe it or not, will be looking to start the season 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat (Wednesday)

The snazzy new-look Nets head down to South Beach this week for a showdown with the defending NBA champions.

Brooklyn (1-0, 0-0 road) has had plenty to be distracted by off-court, but the team got it done on Saturday night in the Barclays Center grand reveal.

Miami (2-1, 2-0 home) fell to New York in an emotional game at the Garden on Friday night but otherwise it’s been business as usual.

All eyes will be on this star-studded midweek showdown as we look to discover whether the Nets are for real this year or not.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Chicago Bulls (Thursday)

Yet to find their way yet this season, Kevin Durant and the Thunder will hope a win over Chicago can propel them forward.

Granted, without Derrick Rose, Chicago (2-1, 1-1 home) is a less appealling watch, but the Bulls will still make a good measuring stick for the Harden-less Oklahoma City (1-2, 0-1 road).

The Thunder lost a tough one to San Antonio before dispatching of Portland. Between now and Thursday, Kevin Durant and Co. will take on Atlanta and Toronto, making the trip to Chicago the side’s next telling test.

The Bulls meanwhile will be facing their first real test of the season. Wins over Sacramento (close) and Cleveland (less close) were blemished by a loss to the Hornets and unbeaten Orlando lies in wait Tuesday. If the Bulls want to be taken seriously before Rose returns from injury, a win here is vital.

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (Friday)

The Atlantic Division could provide one of the more interesting races this season. The revamped Nets and Knicks are both intriguing while the Sixers could be an improved side. The Celtics remain division favorites (6/5 to take the Atlantic). The latter two square-off on Friday night.

A well-documented loss for Boston (1-2, 0-1 home) to the Heat on opening day was coupled with a loss to Milwaukee. A win over the Wizards on Saturday got things headed in the right direction and a second match-up with the Washington side could reap rewards midweek.

Philadelphia (1-1, 0-1 road) meanwhile has had a less than hectic schedule to start the season. Last night’s loss in New York will be followed by a quick turnaround with the Knicks visiting Philly tonight, before the Sixers head to New Orleans and then Boston of Friday.

If Philadelphia is to be considered a real threat in the Atlantic, wins over division opponents will be paramount. Last year saw the Atlantic beat up on itself, with 8-6 proving to be the best intra-division record (Boston, New York). Philadelphia finished 7-6.

Charlotte Bobcats at New Orleans Hornets (Friday)

Suffering a concussion in Friday's game against Utah, Anthony Davis will hope to be healthy in time to play former Kentucky team mate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Charlotte (1-1, 0-1 road) might not find itself on another list of anticipated match-ups this season, but Friday’s trip to New Orleans (2-1, 1-1 home) will be worth the watch just to see former Kentucky teammates Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tee-off against each other. Hopefully.

Davis suffered a concussion in Friday’s win over Utah and was forced to stay home as the Hornets headed to Chicago on Saturday. New Orleans fans and NBA fans in general will hope that Davis is cleared to play this coming Friday.

If he does, the two frontrunners for the Rookie of the Year Award preseason will get a chance to show their wares, and deflect some of the attention away from Portland’s Damian Lillard.

Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 7.5 points, six rebounds and 2.5 steals in 23.5 minutes per game as he acclimatizes to the NBA. Davis meanwhile is averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blcoks in two starts this season.


Upcoming NBA Schedule

Monday 5 November

New York Knicks (+4) at Philadelphia 76ers (Total: 189½))

Minnesota Timberwolves (+8½) at Brooklyn Nets (Total: 193)

Phoenix Suns (+11) at Miami Heat (Total: 198)

Utah Jazz (+5½) at Memphis Grizzlies (Total: 193)

Portland Trailblazers (+5) at Dallas Mavericks (Total: 193)

Indiana Pacers (+6½) at San Antonio Spurs (Total: 194½)

Golden State Warriors (+3) at Sacramento Kings (Total: 202½)

Cleveland Cavaliers (+9) at Los Angeles Clippers (Total: 194½)


Tuesday 6: ORL @ CHA | TOR @ OKC | DET @ DEN

Wednesday 7: PHX @ CHA | WAS @ BOS | IND @ ATL | BKN @ MIA | MEM @ MIL | PHI @ NOH | DEN @ HOU | ORL @ MIN | TOR @ DAL | LAL @ UTA | DET @ SAC | CLE @ GSW

Thursday 8: OKC @ CHI | LAC @ POR

Friday 9: MIL @ WAS | BKN @ ORL | PHI @ BOS | DAL @ NYK | MIA @ ATL | HOU @ MEM | CHA @ NOH | DET @ OKC | IND @ MIN | CLE @ PHX | SAS @ SAC | UTA @ DEN | GSW @ LAL

Saturday 10: PHI @ TOR | WAS @ IND | DAL @ CHA | MIN @ CHI | DET @ HOU | BOS @ MIL | PHX @ UTA | SAS @ POR | DEN @ GSW

Sunday 11: ORL @ BKN | ATL @ LAC | MIA @ MEM |CLE @ OKC | SAC @ LAL

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