A NBA Primetime Week 3

Here are our reasons to watch this week’s NBA games;

Denver Nuggets @ Philadelphia 76ers – Saturday, Jan. 9

REASONS TO WATCH

  • This game features two of the NBA’s best young duos: Denver’s Nikola Jokić (Serbia) and Jamal Murray (Canada) and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (Cameroon) and Ben Simmons (Australia). Jokić, Embiid and Simmons have made multiple trips to the All-Star Game. Murray is trending in that direction.
  • Jokić and Embiid have come to re-define the center position. Jokić has the passing instincts of a guard in a center’s body. He’s nimble in the post and can face the basket and knock down three-pointers. Embiid is an effortless scorer from all over the court with game-changing defensive skills.
  • Simmons is the rare player who can take over a game without scoring. Those contributions – playmaking, rebounding, defending multiple positions – earned him spots on the All-NBA Third Team and NBA All-Defensive First Team last season.
  • Michael Porter Jr.’s emergence as a rookie helped fuel Denver’s playoff run last season and offered hints that he could join Jokić and Murray as a franchise cornerstone. Porter, 22, is a highly skilled offensive player and very good rebounder.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Philadelphia’s Seth Curry is married to Doc Rivers’ daughter.
  • Denver’s Bol Bol is the son of the late Manute Bol, who played 10 seasons in the NBA.
  • Joel Embiid was the third pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Nikola Jokić was the 41st pick.

 

Chicago Bulls @ LA Clippers – Sunday, Jan. 10

REASONS TO WATCH

  • The Clippers’ title window remains open following some offseason tweaks. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are still two of the best players in the league. Tyronn Lue is a championship coach. The supporting cast is deep, versatile and experienced.
  • Leonard and George have traveled similar paths: from Southern California roots to mid-major colleges to top-15 draft picks to NBA stardom. Neither was pegged from the start as can’t-miss, but both have emerged as NBA standouts with the size, skill and athleticism to excel at both ends of the court.
  • Zach LaVine averaged a career-high 25.5 points last season as he continued to develop into an All-Star-caliber player. At 25, LaVine is still tapping into his upside.
  • The Bulls are counting on internal development from the No. 7 overall draft pick in 2017 (Lauri Markkanen), 2018 (Wendell Carter Jr.) and 2019 (Coby White) to reverse their fortunes. Their young nucleus also includes rookie Patrick Williams, the fourth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka won a championship together with the Toronto Raptors in 2018-19.
  • Chicago’s Wendell Carter Jr. nearly attended Harvard over Duke.
  • The Bulls’ Patrick Williams didn’t even start during his freshman season at Florida State before entering the 2020 NBA Draft. He was the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year.