One of the best League Pass weeks of the season so far has a nice mix of star power, well-matched opponents and games with potential implications down the road. Warriors/Raptors is an excellent Game of the Week but there are plenty of other high-quality matchups.
Cavs at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.: The week starts with lots of star power and presumably Jimmy Butler spending some quality time guarding LeBron James. A key match-up will be Kevin Love vs. Karl-Anthony Towns, as the two offensively gifted big men cause so many problems.
Pistons at Pelicans, 8 p.m.: We may not get Drummond vs. Cousins since Drummond is questionable with sore ribs but this will be a good calibrator game for both sides as they work towards potential playoff berths.
Nuggets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m.: The Nuggets crushed the Warriors at Oracle shortly before Christmas but Stephen Curry has been a house of fire since returning from his ankle sprain. He will face off with Jamal Murray, who has been much better after a slow start.
Heat at Raptors, 7:30 p.m.: Josh Richardson has been flying under the radar with a strong season, especially defensively, and faces a massive challenge with DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors. Also keep an eye on how each coach uses his traditional centers, as both Jonas Valanciunas and Hassan Whiteside start but rarely finish games.
Magic at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.: This season has not gone the way either of these franchises wanted but both have intriguing young talent and plenty to play for. Elfrid Payton and Dennis Smith Jr. squaring off should be fun and Frank Vogel will have to decide how to approach Dallas’ frontcourt combinations.
Jazz at Wizards, 7 p.m.: Donovan Mitchell ratcheted up his game in December and can make a major statement against John Wall and Bradley Beal in a big road contest. The Wizards have really struggled to score in crunch time but Utah is currently 27th in clutch DefRtg.
Bulls at Knicks, 7:30 p.m.: Kristaps Porzingis arguably blazed a trail as a versatile shooting big man sticking at power forward, something Lauri Markkanen has emulated with a somewhat different skill set.
Trail Blazers at Rockets, 8 p.m.: Hopefully we get Lillard vs. Paul here, though the Blazers’ start is battling a calf strain. Either way, CJ McCollum and Eric Gordon will have the opportunity to shine as well.
Clippers at Kings, 10 p.m.: Strangely, this is the only League Pass contest on a four-game day since Celtics/76ers in London is on at a different time. Sacramento has been competitive and should challenge the Clippers, especially if some of LA’s key contributors are still on the mend.
Cavs at Pacers, 7 p.m.: Indiana is 2-0 against Cleveland this season, including ending their big win streak in early December. Victor Oladipo and Isaiah Thomas should both be healthy, making this even more exciting.
Knicks at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.: Towns and Porzingis will likely not be on each other too much since each team plays another big man but seeing the two share the floor makes this one worth watching.
Trail Blazers at Pelicans, 8 p.m.: In a development that will surprise almost no one, DeMarcus Cousins and Jusuf Nurkic have had some incidents in the past, giving this game between two playoff hopefuls even more juice.
Lakers at Mavericks, 2 p.m.: A nice matinee featuring teams with young talent. Dennis Smith Jr and Lonzo Ball both came into the league with serious hype and both have shown flashes of their long-term potential already.
Warriors at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (Game of the Week): On paper, this is one of the best League Pass games of the season. Toronto has been excellent so far while the Warriors at full strength are an absolute force.
Nuggets at Spurs, 8:30 p.m.: Neither team will be at full strength but this could be a playoff preview. Gary Harris has impressed recently but may have Danny Green on him for extended stretches.
Bucks at Heat, 1 p.m.: A nice early game with some serious talent. Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are both in greener pastures after their time together in Phoenix but their history adds a little something to this game.
Pelicans at Knicks, 3:30 p.m.: Another worthwhile midday game, this one featuring two loaded frontcourts. Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis are the worthy headliners but both DeMarcus Cousins and Enes Kanter can totally take over a game as well.
Pacers at Suns, 8 p.m.: Phoenix picked up an impressive win over Oklahoma City on Sunday and will look to repeat that for a second week in a row. Victor Oladipo and Devin Booker will probably duel without guarding each other since both coaches could turn to their small forwards on the harder defensive assignment to avoid cross-matching.