The first week of the NBA season was plenty eventful, as we saw some great play and emerging superstars living up to hype. But on the flip side, sadly, some disappointing play and extremely unfortunate injuries that immediately derailed season hopes.
Week 2 of the season is now upon us (I apologize for missing out on Monday’s games in the middle of the Eric Bledsoe fire drill happening in Phoenix), but to guide you through the rest of the way until next Monday, here are the best games on the schedule each night that you should be looking to watch.
Tuesday, October 24
Pacers at Timberwolves, 8:00 p.m. ET, League Pass
The early slate on Tuesday is not good. If you’re on the east coast this is a great night to go out to dinner or enjoy some family time or something. If you insist on watching something early, I’ll suggest Pacers-Wolves, because Minnesota is fun. (Myles Turner is still out with a concussion and Jimmy Butler is sick, so this is not as fun anymore).
Pelicans at Blazers, 10:00 p.m. ET, NBATV
The Pelicans’ duo of All-Star bigs has been dominant this season, they just don’t have much help. The Blazers have a dominant backcourt duo with a bit more help, so this will be contrasting strengths going against each other with four dynamic offensive players on the court. That should be fun!
Wednesday, October 25
Rockets at 76ers, 7:00 p.m. ET, League Pass
The Sixers’ opening portion of the schedule is absolutely brutal, but we’ll continue to get a look at what the young Philly squad is made of when the Rockets roll into town. Joel Embiid against Clint Capela is sneaky fun and the Ben Simmons experience has been wonderful to start the season. Houston isn’t what it will be when Chris Paul returns, but it’s still a very good squad.
Wizards at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Spurs-Heat in the first ESPN game of the night doesn’t do a ton for me with Hassan Whiteside and Kawhi Leonard both ruled out, but I will absolutely tune in for Wizards-Lakers. John Wall played off the Lonzo Ball matchup and whether the kid is going to get targeted, but Wall’s teammate Marcin Gortat said Wall is going to “torture” him. Ball’s looked very good in bouncing back from the Pat Beverley nightmare he had in the opener. Wall is as tough as there is of the star guards to go up against on both ends of the floor, so look for this to be another learning experience for the Lakers’ young star. If he performs, though, it will be his most impressive yet.
Thursday, October 26
Celtics at Bucks, 8:00 p.m. ET, TNT
The vibes around the Celtics are way down after the Gordon Hayward injury and with Marcus Smart battling ankle issues of his own, but this is still a quality squad in the East and Kyrie Irving is very good. The main attraction here, however, is current MVP frontrunner Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is destroying teams almost single-handedly. If you haven’t been tuning into Bucks games this season, do yourself a favor and do so on Thursday night because watching Giannis so far this season has been nothing short of spectacular. Side note, this is the “MECCA” game, being played in the old Bucks’ arena on a killer looking retro floor, so the visual aesthetics of this one should be awesome too.
Pelicans at Kings, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Boogie’s first return to Sacramento? Sign me up. He’s going for at least 50.
Friday, October 27
Thunder at Timberwolves, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBATV
After their incredible back-and-forth last week ended with a controversial buzzer-beater by Andrew Wiggins, you better believe this is a must-watch this week.
Wizards at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV
NBA TV has a banger of a double-header on Friday. The Wizards fancy themselves as underrated in the NBA and with the Warriors appearing to be coming back to life, this is a great chance for them to announce their presence or learn their place behind Golden State.
Saturday, October 28
Cavaliers at Pelicans, 7:00 p.m. ET, League Pass
It’s not the strongest night of hoops, so a game featuring three top-15 players in the NBA is probably one of the ones tuning in for.
Rockets at Grizzlies, 8:00 p.m. ET, League Pass
The Grizzlies have sneakily jumped out to a 3-0 start and could be 5-0 going into this one after they have two against Dallas this week. They just beat Houston in Houston and if they walk out of this one 6-0 with two wins over the Rockets and a win over Golden State, we might have to have some conversations about Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Memphis.
Sunday, October 29
Bucks at Hawks, 3:30 p.m. ET, League Pass
Giannis might get a 50-point triple-double on the Hawks. That’s the reason to watch this. It’s not a great Sunday in the Association, but at least keep your eye on this box score and be ready to flip over if he’s got 30 in the first half.