With three weeks of NBA action in the books, we begin to get a feel for the contenders for the playoff race. Here are some of the games to look forward to in week four.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
The Los Angeles Lakers hit the road to play against the Boston Celtics, a team that is currently the best team in the NBA. This rivalry never has failed to produce some instant classic games, and this one should be no different. The Lakers have a shot at ending the Celtics’ nine-game winning streak, the longest in the NBA this season.
L.A. got off to a slow start, opening its year at 0-3 in preseason games, but is now getting an offensive rhythm behind its solid forward play, directed by veteran center Brook Lopez. The 7-footer has the team-leading 16.4 points per game and is second on the team in rebounding.
The Lakers’ dominance in the paint is also commanded by solid play from Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram, the rookie out of Duke University.
This Boston team continues to rock and roll in the Eastern Conference, going from worst to first in a span of two weeks which is very impressive considering the injury of Gordon Hayward.
Kyrie Irving’s adjustment to his new team has gone quite smoothly; he still leads the team in scoring and has expanded his chemistry with his squad by averaging 5.7 assists per game. The Celtics are a game and a half up on the second-place Detroit Pistons and look to have the first double digit win streak of this season.
This game will take place at the TD Garden in Boston today at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Golden State Warriors
This game features two of the top three teams in the Western Conference. The young Minnesota Timberwolves team continues to stay hot as it aims to defeat the Golden State Warriors and expand its winning streak to six games.
The T-Wolves will begin a three-game road trip Wednesday against the Warriors that continues with matchups against the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz later in the week. Karl Anthony-Towns continues to show why he is the future of the Timberwolves’ franchise while averaging a team best 21.8 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game.
The Warriors will play their second game of a four-game home stand against a young, fired up Minnesota Timberwolves team. The Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs handily with a 112-92 final score on Nov. 2, but other than that, the Warriors have not gotten to show off how really great it proclaim to be yet this season.
In fact, in its toughest game of the season against the Houston Rockets, Golden State lost 122-121. The Warriors’ defense continues to struggle even against teams that are not known for great offense. This will be tough test for the Dubs and a great game to watch.
The Timberwolves and the Warriors play tonight in Oakland, California, at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets
This game doesn’t pop off the page as a must-see game, but that’s just the style of play for the Memphis Grizzlies this season. It isn’t pretty, but the team has been able to string some wins together and look like it could be a possible contender in the Western Conference.
The Rockets are in first in the Western Conference with an 8-3 record.
The Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol has been dominating from block to block with a scrappy 19.5 points per game and has been a major reason why his team is in the hunt for a playoff bid this season.
For the Rockets, James Harden is must-see television every time he steps on the court. So it’s no surprise he is doing as well as he is. Harden is coming off a 56-point game against the Utah Jazz on Sunday. He’s been a dynamic scorer all this year, averaging 29.5 points per game this season.
With all eyes on James Harden, some teams fail to prepare for what Eric Gordon has to offer. He’s averaging a stout 23.1 points per game and is helping relieve some of the pressure from James Harden.
The Grizzlies and Rockets play in Houston on Saturday with a 7 p.m. tipoff time.