I know, Halloween’s passed, but the picture just made me think about what’s going on tonight. ESPN has a great doubleheader on: Atlanta @ Boston and Los Angeles @ Denver. Sounds like a great night right? Nope, those are the only treats. The rest of the lineup is one big trick. Here are the games, ranked in order of least bad to worst.
Portland @ New Orleans – Our panel was in agreement that this is at least one of the two next best games. Taking away some of the appeal is New Orleans’ disappointing start, capped by the firing of Byron Scott this week. Nonetheless, Chris Paul battling it out with Brandon Roy is still plenty reason to watch this one.
New Jersey @ Orlando – I must be on my own here, because everyone else ranked this game in the top three, but I couldn’t feel more different. Yes, Orlando is the defending conference champion. Yes, Vince Carter will be going up against his old team, but his old team is 0-8 and Devin Harris isn’t playing. Lopez vs. Howard should provide some highlights though.
Utah @ Philadelphia – This game actually had the same average ranking as the Warriors – Knicks, but I’ll list it first since one of us had it as their #1 game. I’m not sure who it was, or why they chose it, but it surely won’t be for the Carlos Boozer – Elton Brand fall from grace Duke matchup.
Golden State @ New York – East meets West in this matchup of teams that play in Top 5 basketball markets, but continue to make more headlines for disasters than winning ballgames. The only silver lining to this game will be the stat sheet after the game. Both sides will take turns letting each other score, so there’ll be plenty of points, but expect to see a healthy dose of turnovers and three point attempts as well!
Houston @ Sacramento – I ranked this game the highest, and I’m not being a homer. Believe it or not, this is the only other game where both teams are .500 or better. Many expected Houston to struggle without anyone good playing, but they’re off to a 5-3 start. Meanwhile, the Kings were the hands down favorite to be the worst team in the NBA this year, but since losing Kevin Martin, have rattled off three straight and sit at 4-4. Now, I’ll admit the action on the court isn’t the most enticing, but watching Tyreke Evans is a treat. He’s just now starting to realize that without K-Mart, this is his team. It’s a good thing Houston has guys like Ariza and Battier to throw at him after Brooks and Lowery give up.
Dallas @ Minnesota – The Mavericks look they might have one last good run in them this year. They’ve got plenty of weapons, but it’s unclear whether they have the depth to make a postseason run. We won’t find out tonight, as the Mavs’ reserves are sure to get plenty of garbage time minutes in the second half.
Toronto @ LA Clippers – It’s amazing how the Clippers can turn anybody off. It doesn’t matter who they’re playing, they’d still end up here at the bottom. Celtics – Clippers? Nah, blowout. Grizzlies – Clippers? Nah, garbage teams. It’s really a lose-lose. Even with Chris Bosh coming to town, and the Raptors figuring to be in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture this year, watching anyone play the Clippers sounds undesirable.