Monday, March 19th: Mavericks @ Nuggets, 10:30 ET, TNT: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the one aspect of the Nene trade that excites me is the minutes it has freed up for Kenneth Faried. “Manimal” is one of the league’s most exciting players to watch at his position thanks to his amazing athleticism and nonstop hustle. He’s a great fit in Denver’s up-and-down system, and he’s almost guaranteed to provide at least one top 10 play per game. He had his best performance as a pro against Boston on Saturday, and I don’t think Dallas has anyone energetic enough to keep him contained. Hopefully he’ll give us another spectacular showing.
Tuesday, March 20th: Thunder @ Jazz, 9:00 ET, NBALP: I have total faith in the Jazz to compete with anyone on their home floor. They should be feeling extremely confident coming off of a road win against the Lakers, and I expect them to leave it all on the court, because–depending on what happens in a couple of other games–this could be the victory that gets them back into the 8th spot. This certainly isn’t a game I’d put any money on… I think it could go either way.
Wednesday, March 21st: Knicks @ Sixers, 7:00 ET, ESPN: This will be a solid test for Woody’s Knicks. The emotion involved in playing under a brand new coach should be starting to wear off, and we will, once again, have to wait and see what the Knicks are really made of over the next few weeks. I figure Woodsanity will have gone the way of Linsanity by the time the season comes to a close.
Thursday, March 22nd: Celtics @ Bucks, 8:00 ET, NBALP: Things could change by the time this game rolls around, but as of today the Cs are on a two-game losing streak, the Bucks are on a five-game winning streak, and only three games separate the two teams in the standings. This match up presents a big opportunity for both teams. It should be a good one.
Friday, March 23rd: Nets @ Hawks, 7:30 ET, NBALP: Thanks to Gerald Green, the Nets are worth watching! I’ve started to tune in nearly every time they play, but even if you aren’t quite that intrigued I think they’re still worth three hours of your week. I chose a match up with Atlanta because the Hawks are liable to lay an egg.
Saturday, March 24th: Grizzlies @ Clippers, 3:00 ET, NBALP: Zach Randolph should be starting to work his way back into regular form by the time this revenge game comes about. I wish I could say the same for the Clippers, but they were never in form and certainly aren’t showing any signs of working towards it.
Sunday, March 25th: Grizzlies @ Lakers, 10:30 ET, ESPN: I’m going with the Grizzlies two days in a row. After their last match up with the Lakers… how can I not? Here’s to hoping for a similarly great game but an entirely different outcome (the Grizz got shafted on their home floor, so I’m rooting for them).