A look ahead at the Spurs games for the week.
Date: Monday, January 19 (1:00)
Team: Charlotte Bobcats (A)
Why you should care: The Spurs schedule is about to become significantly tougher. So far they have had one of the easiest schedules in the NBA. Winning these easier games will be important as they head into the Rodeo Road Trip. This is the time in the season when the Spurs start to get their act together. Part of that is winning big games, but it also means winning these easier games in convincing fashion and giving the Big Three a chance to rest in the fourth quarter. The Bobcats are a .500 team at best at home, so the Spurs should win this game.
Date: Tuesday, January 20 (7:30)
Team: Indiana Pacers (H)
Why you should care: Indiana has struggled with Mike Dunleavy injured for most of the year. Marquis Daniels has filled in nicely for him but he is not quite as good. The Pacers live and die with Danny Granger. Chances are you haven’t watched the Pacers this year because they are rarely on tv, but make sure to watch Granger. He is one of the most unappreciated players in the NBA. He can score with the best and the other parts of his game are catching up. He should be an All-Star this year. This should be another Spurs win even if it is the second in a back-to-back.
Date: Friday, January 23 (7:30)
Team: New Jersey Nets (H)
Why you should care: New Jersey is actually a better road team than home team this year, which isn’t so surprising when you think about it. They have one of the worst arena’s in the NBA and the fans don’t help much. Devin Harris has been one of the biggest surprises this season and Vince Carter is actually playing like he cares, so those two can carry the team to a win if they get hot. I’m excited to see how Tony Parker and Harris match up because they are two of the quickest guards in the league.
Date: Sunday, January 25 (2:30)
Team: Los Angeles Lakers (A)
Why you should care: Simply put, these two always put on a good show. Even though it’s still January, you should expect a playoff environment. Last time they met Tim Duncan flirted with a triple-double, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol played inspired basketball and Roger Mason continued to solidify his reputation as a big shot player with a three-point play to win. Unfortunately, I still believe that the Lakers have more talent, and I’m afraid that a game in Los Angeles favors them. Still, either team has a chance when they meet. Don’t miss this one.