Thanks to a NBA-wide day off for Thanksgiving, a solid schedule has been compressed into six days with particularly strong Wednesday and Friday slates.
Bucks @ Bobcats: After a backcourt-led start to the season, Charlotte gets a fun test in the form of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings of the Bucks. This one should have plenty of fireworks and stands out as a chance for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to make a statement.
Nuggets @ Grizzlies: Two likely Western Conference playoff teams face off early in the week. Andre Iguodala and Rudy Gay are always fun to watch against each other in a match-up that will happen much more now that they are in the same conference.
Clippers @ Spurs: Another tilt featuring Western Conference contenders. This one centers on the PG’s with Chris Paul and Tony Parker taking top billing. Danny Green and the rest of the non-Manu swingmen need to take big strides without Kawhi Leonard in order for the Spurs to keep it up.
Hornets @ Pacers: Two NNGW favorite even while the Pacers continue to miss Danny Granger. David West and Roy Hibbert should both be tough covers for Anthony Davis, making this one to watch.
Spurs @ Celtics: Tony Parker gets to unwind from facing Chris Paul on Monday by dueling with Rajon Rondo on Wednesday. Old hands Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett could end up making the difference here, and I am intrigued to see how Boston uses Courtney Lee here.
Bucks @ Heat: While it is unlikely this one will go down to the wire, it should be fun to see how the two teams try to handle each other. Look for 2013 free agent Brandon Jennings to try and tear the roof off in Miami.
Lakers @ Kings: Notable only for potentially being the on-bench debut for Mike D’Antoni.
Clippers @ Nets: The undercard for the Game of the Week features the two men who have spent the better part of the last few seasons fighting for the title of best point guard in the world. Chris Paul and Deron Williams finally both have quality teams around them and only face each other twice this season, so this one clearly warrants a watch.
Raptors @ Pistons: The first matchup of two of my personal favorite big men: Jonas Valanciunas and Andre Drummond. Each of these teams should be looking for a win to kick-start their season after slow starts.
Lakers @ Grizzlies [Game of the Week]: Lots and lots of storylines here: The two best frontlines in the game today, Kobe’s new offense, and a Grizzlies team that has come out of the gates on fire. Both teams have plenty of intensity and firepower to make this one fantastic television.
Warriors @ Nuggets: These teams had a double OT thriller earlier in the month, so it’s one to keep an eye on.
Thunder @ Sixers: Even without Andrew Bynum, the Sixers have kept their heads above water with a solid 6-4 start. OKC continues to assert their regular season dominance while integrating their new pieces. I am intrigued to see how former LA-area high school products and UCLA alums Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday fare against each other in this weekend game.
Trail Blazers @ Nets: A pair of NNGW favorite teams go at it in a Sunday Special. Damian Lillard has had a shockingly strong start to his rookie campaign while the new-look Nets have made an impact as well. Look for Deron Williams to try and show the rook early why he is the best in the game while it ends up coming down to how well Brooklyn can defend LaMarcus Aldridge’s offense.
Hornets @ Nuggets: It should be fun just to watch these two teams play against one another. The possibility of Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis handling each other on both ends sounds like an awful lot of fun as well.