We're going to be honest with you here because this is the kind of relationship we want to have. This week in the NBA? It's kind of horrible. Sure there are a handful of cool matchups here and there, but really it's a pretty barren slate. Look at Thursday. Who thought putting Dallas at Phoenix on TNT was a good idea? Talk about a disservice to the fans.
Look, it's a long season. Catch up with your loved ones that you've been neglecting, or maybe do some of that holiday shopping you've been putting off. If you must, and you probably will, here's what we'll be watching this week:
What you'll be watching: Clippers at Utah (9 p.m.)
This is literally the only game on the slate featuring two teams with at least .500 records, so it has that going for it. The Jazz are also undefeated at home, which figures to make this a tough test for the Clippers, who have dropped three straight road games. Look, it's either this or Bucks-Hornets.
League Pass After Dark: Orlando at Golden State (10:30 p.m.)
Congrats to the Magic who not only beat Dwight Howard's Lakers on Sunday, they trolled the hell out of them. Using Hack-a-Dwight (and using it quite well, Jacque Vaughn) is such delicious revenge for the nonsense he put them through the last few years. Also, while we're on the subject: Who's laughing at Rob Hennigan now for passing on Andrew Bynum?
What you'll be watching: Oklahoma City at Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)
Reggie Evans said something interesting about Andray Blatche who is having his best season by far. "He never had any real true veterans around him," Evans noted last Wednesday. "He's got some veterans who demand great things out of him." Too many observers are quick to dismiss veterans' influence as overrated and trite, but consider the alternative where young players are given responsibility and minutes with no checks and balances. We call that place Washington.
What the Twitterati will be watching: Lakers at Houston (8 p.m.)
Is it time to wonder if the Lakers just aren't that good? It's becoming clear that not only do they not have the personnel to run Mike D'Antoni's system, their perimeter defensive problems are very real and won't get any better when Steve Nash returns. This, ultimately, is the issue with D'Antoni as a coach. He has never adjusted well to the players he has and always seems to be lamenting the ones he doesn't. In other words, if you can't find a use for Pau Gasol, the problem might be you.
What you'll be watching: Minnesota at Boston (7:30 p.m.)
On the flipside, you can stop taking the Celtics seriously the minute Kevin Garnett retreats to some far away Hawaiian beach to live out the rest of his days in seclusion. We've been over this time and again, people. Sure they look vulnerable right now and they could really use another big man, but unlike the Lakers, they have a system that they trust and a core group of players who know how to play it. That may not be enough to get past Miami -- it probably isn't -- but save the eulogies.
What the Twitterati will be watching: Denver at Atlanta (8 p.m.)
L-L-L-W-W-W-W-L-L-L-W-W-W-W-L-L-L. That's not a cheat code. That's the Nuggets win-loss record this season.
League Pass After Dark: Dallas at Clippers (10:30 p.m.)
It's weird to agree with everything Mark Cuban has to say about a subject, but I thought he basically nailed it when talking about l'affair de Pop. The league was right to fine the Spurs for messing with TV, but he probably would have done the same thing if his coach said he had to do it. The real issue is the schedule and it's long past time the league did something to fix it.
What you'll be watching: New York at Miami (8 p.m.)
The Heat have reached the point in their evolution when they can just toy with teams depending on their mood. If they're engaged -- as they were on Saturday against Brooklyn -- they'll win by a dozen. The Knicks whacked Miami by 20 earlier in the season, so count on LeBron and company to care enough to make a statement. By the way, I could watch this video over and over again. Rasheed Wallace's career summed up in 85 seconds.
What you'll be watching: Lakers at Oklahoma City (9:30 p.m.)
In which Russell Westbrook licks his chops and goes for the kill.
What the Twitterati will be watching: Golden State at Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)
Is it possible that after all these years, the League Pass darlings are finally who we want them to be? The Warriors are still scoring a decent amount of points, but they are actually playing defense as well. Imagine how well they'd be playing if Andrew Bogut was healthy enough to get on the court.
While we're on the subject of doing a disservice to fans ... you trade for a guy who's more hurt than you let on, tank a season to retain a draft pick and then hide the fact that Bogut had microfracture surgery on his ankle. What the Warriors pulled strikes me as far more egregious than anything Gregg Popovich did, which only lends credence to the theory that the Spurs are being singled out by the league.
What you'll be watching: New York at Chicago (8 p.m.)
What the Twitterati will be watching: Atlanta at Memphis (8 p.m.)
The Grizzlies need at least one more perimeter shooting threat and it just so happens that the Hawks have two who are in the last years of their contracts in Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow. If there's a trade to be made, let's all hope that Ivan Johnson is somehow involved, because the world needs to have Johnson and Zach Randolph on the same team.
What you'll be watching: Denver at New York (7:30 p.m.)
The one and only time Carmelo Anthony has faced his old team, he put up 30 shots in a double-overtime loss at the Garden. One would assume Melo will be a little more chill this time around.