NBA Viewing Guide: Cavaliers-Heat highlights Saturday's slate of games

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

There are no marquee games Saturday night, but there are some individual battles worth watching.

The eight games scheduled for Saturday night in the NBA don't feature some of the big-time matchups we've seen early on in the season, like Pacers-Heat or Thunder-Warriors, but if you find yourself in front of the TV, flipping through NBA League Pass, one game that should get your attention will be the Clippers in D.C. to take on the Wizards.

Chris Paul and John Wall have been a cut above as floor generals this year. Paul leads the NBA in assists with 11.4 per game, and Wall is second with 9.2. The two are leading the league in points created by assists, per's player tracking stats database, and are also leading the league in hockey assists. Throw in that their styles are pretty radically different -- Paul likes to slow the game down and dissect defenses like a half-court surgeon, while Wall uses his superlative speed and athleticism to go where he wants and hunt good shots for teammates -- and this should be a fun watch.

Here's everything going on in the NBA on Saturday (all times Eastern).

The Appetizers

Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Bobcats

7 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The first game of the Kobe-Bryant-at-point-guard experiment was an unmitigated defensive disaster, allowing 122 points to the Thunder Friday night. The Bobcats have a subpar offense, but it will be fascinating to see how Kemba Walker, who is playing great this year, can attack. Kobe had double-digit assists on offense with a number of cool-looking passes. More of that please.

Reading material: Jordan Farmar hopes he can return early from injury to cure the Lakers point woes,Rufus on Fire diss rap. Every damn time.

Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards

7:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

If you're into good point guard matchups, then this will be a solid game to whet your appetite. Chris Paul and John Wall (or Paul Wall, if you will) are two of the very best floor generals in the league, ranking first and second in assists per game. Their teams, however, have had some issues as of late. The Wizards are still without Bradley Beal; the Clippers don't have J.J. Redick or Matt Barnes. Both sides will depend very much on their franchise point guards in this one, so the battle will be fun to watch.

Reading material: Clips Nation: The Clippers have really struggled from the floor lately; Bullets Forever: The Wiz just keep finding ways to lose.

Main Course

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat

7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV

This is always going to be an interesting watch, even when if LeBron James goes back to Cleveland when he becomes a free agent. The Cavs desperately need a confidence-boosting win, and Kyrie Irving needs to regain his All-Star form. The Heat are just hoping for something to stay interested in.

Reading material: Fear the Sword covers the Cavs' apparent lack of interest in Omer AsikHot Hot Hoops evaluates the Heat's backcourt options

Side Dishes

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks

7:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The Knicks have basically become must-see TV on a nightly basis, just so you don't miss the next plot twist in the storyline. Saturday, they square off against the No. 3 team in the East, the Atlanta Hawks. Al Horford is fresh off a game-winning buzzer-beater against the Wizards, and the Hawks are looking to push their record out to 13-11. New York, meanwhile, is 6-16, and it's starting to feel like things are spinning out of control, if they haven't already.

Reading material: Peachtree Hoops: Hawk Str8Talk has a look at this Atlanta team at the quarter-mark of the season; Posting and Toasting: Are the Knicks really trying to deal with Masai Ujiri again?

Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls

8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

So, it appears Raptors GM Masai Ujiri is fully committed to blowing this thing up, as reports of trade talks involving his team's point guard, Kyle Lowry, have surfaced in the wake of the Rudy Gay transaction. So Toronto seems to be making a hard push toward the top of the lottery. That makes the game against the Bulls tonight quite interesting, because Chicago is awful right now. It is averaging fewer than 80 points per game over their last four, but it will get Luol Deng back in this one, which is big for its offense. We'll see who wants it more.

Reading material: Raptors HQ: Reports are that Lowry could be sent to New York; Blog A Bull: Bulls meet with Mirotic in Spain.

Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers

8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

It appears the early season honeymoon is over for Philadelphia. After starting 5-4 through their first nine games, the Sixers have now lost 13 of their last 15 games. And with Michael Carter-Williams missing time with a right knee infection, it's probably not going to get any better in the near future. On top of that, Philly welcomes the Trail Blazers to town. Portland is 19-4 this season and sits alone atop the Western Conference. This might be one of those guilty pleasure side dishes — the kind you stuff down your gullet just to see how much you can eat.

Reading material: Blazer's Edge: Is Portland's bench about to get even better?; Liberty Ballers: Is there a deal in place for Omer Asik in Philly?


Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks

8:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV

This one might be good for those of you with a sweet tooth, or those of you who want to see how many points Dallas can score. The Bucks head to Texas ravaged by injury and facing a Mavericks team fresh off a tough loss to the Golden State Warriors. But Dallas could be in a bit of trouble, as both Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle missed Saturday's shootaround with illnesses. Their statuses for the game are in question. If they don't play, Monta Ellis will have free rein against his former team.

Reading material: Brew Hoop: Some interesting on/off splits involving John Henson; Mavs Moneyball: The Mavs take a trip to the zoo! (Fan fiction.)

San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz

9 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

It will be the only game on at the end of the night, and it could get a bit interesting. This will be the fourth game in as many cities in five nights for the Spurs, and Utah is coming off an impressive 103-93 performance in Denver on Friday night. Will Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili play just one night after they combined for 61 points, 23 assists and 21 rebounds against the Wolves? Will Gordon Hayward blow up the box score again? All riveting questions for which we will soon have answers.

Reading material: Pounding the Rock: How are all these trade rumors affecting the Spurs? SLC Dunk: The Jazz hold the 'Championship Belt' for at least one more night.

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The Hook: Where did New York's draft picks go?

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