A look ahead at the Spurs games for the week.
Date: Tuesday, January 27 (8:00)
Team: Utah Jazz (A)
Why you should care: The Jazz haven’t been as strong this year as some expected, but that’s mostly to injuries that left Deron Williams hobbled earlier this year and knocked Carlos Boozer out of the lineup. In Boozer’s place Paul Millsap has performed at an All-Star level. It will be interesting to see how the Spurs respond to such a poor second half in Los Angeles. Typically the Spurs follow a bad game with a good game, but this will be a battle in Salt Lake City.
Date: Thursday, January 29 (9:30)
Team: Phoenix Suns (A)
Why you should care: When these two teams met on Christmas they delivered one of the best games of the year. Don’t be surprised to see another exciting game. This season Shaq has played like the Shaq of years ago, and I expect him to be pumped up to play Tim Duncan. I’ve gone over before how these two teams just don’t like each other, so there isn’t a need to go over it again. Even though most people don’t consider the Suns to be one of the main contenders at this point in the season, these two always play like it’s the playoffs.
Date: Saturday, January 31 (7:30)
Team: New Orleans Hornets (H)
Why you should care: This is the fourth game in a brutal stretch that saw the Spurs play the Lakers, Jazz and Suns, so I worry about the team’s energy. It is also the last home game until February 24 because the Spurs are about to embark on the Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs hold a slim lead over the Hornets, and they lost the first meeting, so a win here would be huge. Not only would it be a nice way to boost morale before the road trip but it would give them a win over their main division rival.