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Here’s a look at the best battles in the NBA this week.
Thursday, Feb. 20 at 10:30 p.m. ET
The last time these two teams played, it was Christmas Day and the Warriors dealt the Rockets a tough loss. The Warriors were in the middle of their longest winning streak of the season — four games — and have won just three games since the streak ended almost two months ago. The Rockets may be hungry for revenge against the NBA’s worst team, but the Warriors could find that special magic once again — or they could all get dunked on within an inch of their proverbial lives. A pissed-off Rockets team is always worth watching.
Friday, Feb. 21 at 10:30 p.m. ET
The Pelicans are 6-5 since Zion Williamson made his debut, and he’s found a way to wow people in nearly every game. When the Pels and Trail Blazers faced off a few weeks ago, Williamson had a career-high 31 points and the Pelicans blew out the Blazers 138-117. With Damian Lillard out for the next few weeks with a groin strain, it feels like the Blazers are on the downswing while the Pelicans are moving on up. However with both teams stuck in the middle of the pack in the West, they each have a ton to play for — especially against each other.
Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET
It’s hard to imagine the Cavaliers having a prayer against red hot Jimmy Butler and the vivacious Miami Heat. The Cavs are a mess both on and off the court, with the NBA’s second-lowest win total and a revolving door where the head coach should be. But with JB Bickerstaff replacing John Beilein after his sudden and ungraceful exit, maybe a new coach is just what the Cavs need to get back on track. As for the Heat? They’re just cruising.
Saturday, Feb. 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET
It’s hard to find new ways to say that the Bucks are an unstoppable force of nature, because that’s just what they are and they’ve shown no sign of letting up. The 76ers had no luck against them when they faced off in early February, but one thing has changed since then: the Sixers have seen a little improvement lately by having Al Horford come off the bench. It’s a small change, but it could make the difference against the behemoth that is the Bucks.
Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3:30 p.m. ET
The Celtics have been a surprise playoff contender this season, with guys like Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum (seriously!) making every play count. Facing off against the playoff hungry Lakers should make for some must-watch Sunday afternoon basketball. LeBron James has looked revitalized this season, so imagine what a few days on the couch with a glass of wine will do for his game.