Now that fans and players alike have gotten their fill of turkey, ham and everything else this Thanksgiving, it is time to get back to the court and pick up the action of the NBA season. Looking at this weekend’s slate of games there are some interesting matchups that are well worth a watch.
LA Lakers (6-6) at Memphis Grizzlies (8-2)
In an odd twist of fate this game places two teams against each other that are experiencing a role reversal of sorts. The Lakers have seemed to be heading in the right direction after a dismal start to the season that saw them jettison Mike Brown after less than two weeks. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, have continued to look fantastic in defeating many of the big names that the league has to offer.
While the Lakers have yet to win on the road, they are riding a new playing scheme under Coach Mike D’Antoni that has lent itself to a more productive offense. It will be interesting to see how that works out against Memphis who is currently performing as one of the best defensive units in the game. The battle down low will be the matchup to watch as Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol go up against Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. In what could be a preview of an important Western Conference playoff game down the line, the Grizzlies welcoming the Lakers is the Friday night game to watch.
New York Knicks (8-2) at Houston Rockets (5-7)
While this game doesn’t carry the long term implications of the first matchup to watch, the Knicks versus Rockets has an important storyline that many people will be paying attention to. Jeremy Lin stole the NBA’s heart last season as he put on a show in Madison Square Garden that seemed to make everyone smile. However, the story turned sour for some as the Knicks decided against resigning him and brought in Raymond Felton instead. Now, Felton has been playing as if he has a chip on his shoulder while Lin has struggled in Houston. These two point guards will meet for the first time since the off season moves in Friday’s game.
The Knicks have been playing excellent on both sides of the floor where they are fifth in points per game while being third in points allowed. While it is clear that they miss Lin’s assists numbers, they have been able to make up for it in other ways on the court. James Harden has done what he can as the Rocket’s new leader but he will still need help across the board if this team is truly going to make any type of run in the Western Conference. In what should be a high scoring game, the Knicks traveling to Houston has an early season dose of emotion behind this matchup.
With the season coming to a halt to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, these two Friday games are enough to restart your love for the game of professional basketball going into another packed weekend of sports action.