The Indiana Pacers are off to the best start in the NBA in 11 years, and they don't appear to be slowing down. The Chicago Bulls just wiped the floor with the Toronto Raptors without Derrick Rose. The two teams will collide on the shores of Lake Michigan on Saturday night, but the game is just one of 11 for NBA fans to choose from. To the menu! All times Eastern:
7 p.m., Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Florida
The Mavericks gave the Miami Heat all they could handle Friday night, but still came up short. Dirk Nowitzki is averaging more than 20 points per game again (last year was the first time he was under 20 PPG since 2000), Monta Ellis is still having it all and the Mavericks are fun to watch again. Few teams have been more fun to watch this season than the Magic. Victor Oladipo is electric, Nikola Vucevic is one of the league's elite rebounders and seems to improve every night. The Mavericks should win, but this game will be a treat.
7:30 p.m., Fox Sports South, MSG
These are two teams on divergent paths. The Hawks are a solid team now and, under GM Danny Ferry, they have a clear eye toward the future. The Knicks are clearly talented, but in disarray, and no one quite knows what the plan is in midtown Manhattan. Either way, this is a Saturday night game in Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony is coming off the highest-scoring game in the NBA this year. Can he keep it going?
8 p.m., Altitude, CSN Houston
The Nuggets finally got a win in which they played as a team Friday night against the Timberwolves, but now they go on the road to Houston. Dwight Howard will try to bounce back from his worst game as a Rocket on Thursday night against the Knicks, but the big question for any Rockets opponents right now: Can anyone stop Jeremy Lin? He has scored 86 points combined in his last three games, and he's shooting 13-for-27 from three-point range in that stretch.
The Main Course
Indiana Pacers at Chicago Bulls
8 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WGN
Can we call this a rivalry yet? Rose is a game-time decision for Saturday night, but the Bulls played their best game of the season Friday night with their star on the shelf with a pulled hamstring. Rose is key to any Bulls championship aspirations, but he has been incredibly rusty early on and the Pacers are the best team in the league. The United Center crowd will be fired up to see the Bulls try to make the Pacers 9-1, but don't be surprised if Paul George and Roy Hibbert are monstrous again.
10:30 p.m., NBA TV
The Nets are without Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, but they were never going to be the main event in this game. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will both be playing and Doc Rivers will be on the Clippers sideline. This is the narrative the announcers will be talking about, and the highlight of the night will inevitably be before the game begins when the trio sees each other on opposite ends of the floor for the first time since 2007 (longer, in Pierce's case). Sidenote: Can Shaun Livingston do it again after leading the Nets to a big comeback win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night?
The Side Dishes
Miami Heat at Charlotte Bobcats
7 p.m., Sun Sports, Sports South
The Bobcats are only one game back of the Heat in the Southeast Division. If the Bobcats win against the Heat Saturday night — both are on the second night of a back to back — they will be tied, 10 games into the season. If that's not reason enough to give this game a watch, then I can't help you.
8 p.m., CSN Philadelphia, Fox Sports New Orleans
Jrue Holiday revenge game alert! The All-Star point guard was no doubt stunned when his former team traded him away this offseason, so he's going to be out for something to prove, I guess. That's the narrative going into this game, at least. More importantly, Tony Wroten is playing extended minutes for the 76ers, so crazy stuff is going to happen. Spencer Hawes will also probably go 9-9 from three-point range. Anthony Davis will make ludicrously athletic plays, that much is certain.
8 p.m., CSN Northeast, Fox Sports North
Kelly Olynyk should be on the Timberwolves. He would belong. But he's starting at center for the Celtics and will have to deal with being eaten alive by Nikola Pekovic. I bet Pekovic won't even spit out his bones. He'll just chew on them while he contemplates his next victim.
10:30 p.m., RTRM+, CSN Bay Area
Pass it On
7 p.m., Fox Sports Ohio, CSN Washington
Look, I love watching both of these point guards play. Kyrie Irving vs. John Wall will be a pleasure, especially with Irving wearing a mask. But these teams, both with playoff aspirations, have been horribly depressing early this year. The Cavs have the second-worst offense in the league, and the Wizards are among the bottom-dwellers on defense. This won't be very fun to watch.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Milwaukee Bucks
8:30 p.m., Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Wisconsin