In our new weekly feature John Cronin breaks down what is happening in the NBA world and lets us know what he thinks is good and not so good in the league…
Members of Tottenham Hotspur and the USA Men’s National Soccer Team tried their hand at basketball when they took part in the NBA #HalfCourt Challenge at Tottenham’s Enfield Training Centre.
Welcome to a new weekly feature on TCC where we take a look at the TV planner for the next seven days and break down your essential viewing. There has never been a better time to be a UK/Ireland based basketball fan with coverage on ESPN, ESPN America, Setanta and Sky allowing you to keep track of your favourite basketball whether that is the NBA, NCAA Basketball, Euroleague or even the local leagues.
Game of the Week
San Antonio Spurs @ LA Clippers
Thursday Night / Friday Morning – 3.30am – ESPN
This is one to set the DVR for with a late west coast tip time meaning the game won’t start here until 3.30am. Part of the Thursday night double header (Heat @ Bulls tips off at 1am also on ESPN) the Spurs travel to LA sitting atop of the NBA standings. Gregg Popovich is working his magic and has the team running his offensive system like only his teams can. A perfect illustration of this was last week with Parker, Ginobli, Duncan and Jackson all sitting out the Spurs still managed to roll to a 103-89 victory over the Bulls behind great team basketball and 26 points from the ever improving Kawhi Leonard. Any fan of pure basketball will love the spurs, they move the ball better than any team in the league evidenced by the fact that they lead the NBA in Assist ratio.
The Clippers had a hot start to the season but have had a recent poor run of form when they were missing 5/6 different players but as Grant Hill told us last week they are now back to full health. The clips are one of the most entertaining teams in the league to watch with one of the NBA’s leading point guards in Chris Paul and the high flying Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. What makes the Clippers most fun however is their bench, Eric Bledsoe plays the game at a ferocious pace making spectacular plays on both ends and Jamal Crawford is in the running for the sixth man of the year award while challenging Kyrie Irving as the most entertaining player to watch handle the ball. (check out the video above!)
There is over 20 games on TV this week and we think these are the pick of the bunch:
Indiana @ Michigan State
Tuesday Night / Wednesday Morning 12:00am – ESPN America
Two of the top teams in the best conference in Men’s college basketball, The Big Ten, go at it in what promises to be a great NCAA match up. Two defensive orientated teams but when two of the top 10 ranked teams in the nation go at it in a conference game there is always a good chance of excitement and an electric atmosphere.
Boston Celtics @ LA Lakers
Wednesday Night /Thursday Morning 3.30am – ESPN
A classic NBA match-up between the two most successful franchises in league history. The Celtics are proving the Ewing Theory true and have went on a tear since losing elite point guard Rajon Rondo and the LA Lakers are desperate for wins as they chase the last playoff spot in the west.
Missouri @ Kentucky
Saturday Night / Sunday Morning 2.00am – ESPN America
The headline game from College Gameday, after improving in recent weeks how will Kentucky perform in the absence of Nerlens Noel who is ruled out for the season with a torn ACL?
Golden State Warriors @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Sunday 8.30pm – SKY Sports 3
Two of my favourite teams to watch go head to head in this Western conference showdown. Kevin Love is still injured but with Ricky Rubio and Steph Curry on the floor, what’s not to like?
Ricky Rubio is just all sorts of awesome, check it out: