The Week Ahead In The NBA

Thanksgiving is a few days away and in the opening month has been a treat in itself. But before we dig into the eating turkey and for some Black Friday shopping, there is a good week of basketball ahead over the next 7 days. So let’s take a look at what is on the NBA’s schedule table.

Monday

Philadelphia vs Toronto 7:30 PM

Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference start the week off in Toronto. Who would have thought that the Raptors would be at 11-5 after losing Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka in the early part of the season. The entire NBA universe saw how good Pascal Siakam was last season, but did they expect Fred VanVleet to be this good?

VanVleet has made himself into an early season all-star and players like Norman Powell, Chris Boucher and Terence Davis have all stepped into bigger roles. Now the Raptors could get Ibaka back into the lineup on Monday night as well, giving them more firepower.

Going against the Sixers, the Raptors will need as much firepower as possible. Philadelphia welcomed the return of starting shooting guard Josh Richardson on Saturday night and will have their normal starting 5 back together for only the sixth time this season. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons lead the 8th best defensive team in the league against a team that has had issues scoring the basketball at times.

Oh by the way the last time the Sixers played in the Air Canada Centre’, this happened.

Tuesday

LA Clippers vs Dallas 8:30 PM (NBA TV)

Yes, Luka Doncic’s triple-double streak ended Sunday against the Houston Rockets, but he lead the Dallas Mavericks to another victory on the road. Dallas has won their last five games in a row and they will come home to take on one of the most talented teams in the entire league.

It will be interesting to see how many different players will take on the challlage of guarding one of most dynamic players in the entire league. What Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has in his arsenal to guard Doncic is amazing. He will lead with Patrick Beverly, then he could go to Paul George, Maurice Harkless, Rodney McGruder and if necessary Kawhi Leonard.

The number of combinations that could be thrown at second-year stud are amazing. Now the Clippers have had issues winning on the road, so far they are 1+4 away from Staples Center. To add to those issues, LA is stlll getting use to a consistant rotation with George returning from injury.

This game is must watch television.

Wednesday

Miami vs Houston 8pm

This is the second and final meeting between the two teams and the Rockets are looking to avenge the 29 point loss suffered in Miami on November 3rd. In that game, Miami scored 26 of the games first 30 points and ended the first quarter up 46-14.

So don’t expect the Rockets to get down again in the first quarter like that on Wednesday. James Harden actually shoots worse at home than he does on the road. He shoots a full 4 percent worse from the field and 5 percent worse from the three-point line. Harden averages only 35.9 points a game at home compared to 40.2 points a game on the road.

Expect this game to be an up and down affair and you should expect both teams to score at least 115 points a piece. Oh yeah, Russell Westbrook won’t shoot 3 for 14 like he did in the last meeting.

These are just some of the games on the schedule this week in the NBA. But most importantly for everyone reading this article, enjoy the holiday and be safe and I will catch everyone next week.

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