I know we're all focused on the Ronny Turiaf sweepstakes. We all want to know where the Frenetic(ally cheering from the bench) Frenchman will be. But there are other pressing matters in the Association to attend to. Such as these seven games.
And lo, I shall call them the Games of the Week. Let's get to it.
Monday: Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden State Warriors (7:30 PM PST)
Diss-cussant Kevin "Frankin" Draper will be at this game. He originally bought the ticket as a chance to see two teams fighting for the eighth seed. However, since he purchased his tickets, both teams have headed in the wrong directions as they cope with life without their lead guards. The Timberwolves have gone 1-3 since losing Ricky Rubio for the season to a torn ACL. The Warriors have gone 0-3 since they traded guard Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks (and since Steph Curry went down with yet another ankle injury). So now, he's going to get to see the much hyped Nate Robinson versus Luke Ridnour matchup. Where amazing happens.
Tuesday: Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks (4:30 PM PST)
In case you forgot what happened the last time these two teams matched up.
Wednesday: Phoenix Suns at Orlando Magic (4:00 PM PST)
If one player could convince me (and the rest of the nation) to like Dwight Howard, it might be Steve Nash. Nash will be a free agent this summer, and has indicated that he'll test the open market. While few see him leaving Phoenix, Orlando would make a lot of sense. Dwight Howard has indicated that he wants to be an alpha dog, and Nash would be a perfect, egoless counterpart. Nash has already won MVPs, and has little left to prove. He'd be fine giving the spotlight to Dwight, and just focus on winning games in the weaker Eastern Conference. Additionally, Nash would also provide the team with a bona fide on court leader; something they've been severely lacking in Dwight Howard. While Orlando might have a hard time convincing Nash to sign with them outright, they have the pieces to put together a trade so the Suns would get some measure of compensation. FREE STEVE NASH!
Thursday: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings (7:00 PM PST)
I once equated a Jazz-Kings game to the bowl of cereal dinner -- your best choice amongst a bunch of unappetizing options. Those sentiments stand for this game as well. I mean, it's this, or Clippers versus Hornets. The much anticipated matchup between padawan Blake Griffin and former Jedi Master Chris Kaman?
Friday: Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder (5:00 PM PST)
Though it's sort of hard to visualize at this point, this really could be the Western Conference Finals in 2014 or 2015. Both of these clubs are on the rapid rise. The Wolves' playoff dreams likely ended with Rubio's season, but they clearly are on the playoff bubble already, and have a first round pick coming if Utah makes the playoffs. The Thunder, meanwhile, are already contenders, and look to be solidifying their spot as presumptive favorite out West. Let's hope the sky's the limit for both of these teams, for years to come.
Saturday: Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets (5:00 PM PST)
So I was going to gripe about the Mavericks in a full-fledged article, but I think I can keep my complaints short and to the point in this format. Simply put: I have no idea what the Mavericks are doing. They decided not to keep their championship team together in an effort to score two big name free agents this summer. Presumably, those free agents were going to be Dwight Howard and Deron Williams. However, Dwight Howard just waived his early termination offer, and will be a member of the Magic until at least the trade deadline next season. Deron Williams, meanwhile, seems to be leaning towards resigning with the Nets, and becoming the team's franchise face (provided they sign a few more stars). With those two guys gone, the Mavs are left with a team built around an aging Dirk, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion. It seems like the Mavs are taking a big chance on Deron Williams.
Sunday: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder (5:00 PM PST)
This season's most likely finals preview. What is there to say? Right now, the MVP is a coin-flip between LeBron and Durant. Both teams feature young coaches who command the respect of their star-heavy rosters. While this wouldn't be the sexiest matchup to conclude the NBA season, it would certainly be entertaining. I wouldn't mind. Would you?