Non-National Games Of The Week (Dec. 31-Jan. 6)
Hawks @ Rockets: More than anything, this game makes the list because I am honestly unsure how Houston will choose to defend the Atlanta frontcourt. As long as it involves letting Josh Smith shoot jumpers, it will likely be enough to let James Harden play a big part in deciding the final outcome.
Nets @ Spurs: It’s only a coin flip that this one will end up being good, though even a subpar Deron Williams cannot sully a duel with Tony Parker and the Spurs. This could be a compelling test of how much a coaching change affects a team.
Kings @ Pistons: DeMarcus Cousins vs. Andre Drummond. You have been warned.
Hawks @ Hornets: This could end up being one of the best games of the week. The Hornets have Eric Gordon back and got a nice comeback win over Charlotte over the weekend while the Hawks have been one of the better stories in the league thus far this season. Louis Williams could end up being a huge factor here.
Clippers @ Nuggets: Chris Paul, Ty Lawson and Eric Bledsoe handling the ball most of the possessions here should help keep people interested even if the Clippers take control early. Look to the Denver clump of centers to have a good game if the Nuggets have a chance here since that still stands as the weakest point in the Clippers' armor.
Spurs @ Bucks: Two of my absolute favorite guard pairings to watch take center stage in the form of Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobilli. We could see plenty of fireworks here even if the Spurs should end up pulling it out.
Timberwolves @ Jazz: Two of the best young frontcourts in the game and the Derrick Favors / Kevin Love matchup makes for compelling problems for both of them. Add in Ricky Rubio and you have a fun little game here.
Clippers @ Warriors: If Golden State wants to be taken seriously as a contender to win a playoff series this season, winning this game would be an excellent step. Former Warrior Jamal Crawford could play a major role here, as could DeAndre Jordan.
Spurs @ Knicks [Game of the Week]: Shocking that this game will not be on national TV. The Knicks are battling more than their fair share of injuries right now, but this one should be a blast regardless of who takes the floor.
Timberwolves @ Nuggets: Ricky Rubio. Kenneth Faried. Kevin Love. I’m there.
Rockets @ Bucks: One of those potentially sneaky fun matchups on a Friday night. These are two feisty teams with incredibly entertaining backcourts and I am intrigued to see how Larry Sanders does here.
Jazz @ Nuggets: Even though Utah still needs a ton of perimeter talent to reach the next level, they have enough juice to make this one worth watching. I am intrigued to see how the Nuggets use Andre Iguodala’s defensive talent against Utah’s swingmen.
Nuggets @ Lakers: The day after their home tilt with the Jazz, the Nuggets play the Lakers at Staples Center in what could be argued to be the non-national game of the week. The Lakers have looked like a brand new team since Steve Nash returned and the Nuggets provide an interesting challenge for their defensive limitations. Look for Andre Iguodala to try and make a statement on both ends of the floor against Olympic teammate Kobe Bryant.