2013 NBA schedule: Clippers face Eric Bledsoe for 1st time Monday

Christian Petersen

Bledsoe has blossomed into a star after being dealt from the Clippers to the Suns this offseason.

New Year's Eve Eve has seven NBA games on the docket, with the prime matchup coming at the end of the night out west. Let's take a look at that tilt as well as the best early game of the day.

The main course: Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers

10:30 p.m. ET

This past offseason, the Clippers decided they didn't want to pay Eric Bledsoe in 2014 with Chris Paul in place, so they dealt Bledsoe to the Suns and received solid parts in J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley in return. While Redick had a big impact on the Clippers' offense before he went down with an injury, Bledsoe has blossomed into a star for a surprisingly good Suns team. The 24-year-old makes his first appearance back at the Staples Center on Monday night in what should be a very entertaining game.

On the season, Bledsoe is averaging 18.4 points, 5.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds while shooting a solid 49.2 percent from the field. The youngster is also shooting a respectable 35.4 percent from long range despite shooting a much higher volume than he has at any point in his career.

The Suns have won four of five and have only lost three times in December, but going into Staples and beating the Clippers will be tough. Los Angeles is 13-2 on their home court this season and have Blake Griffin playing at an extremely high level. Griffin is averaging 30.2 points and 12.2 rebounds over his last five games.

The appetizer: Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans

8 p.m. ET

Mavericks and Timberwolves should be exceptionally fun as well, but I'm giving Blazers and Pelicans the slight edge in terms of entertainment value. Mainly because of what should be a dynamite matchup between LaMarcus Aldridge and Anthony Davis.

Aldridge and Davis are both having magnificent seasons, with Aldridge's career year buoying Portland's 24-6 start. The big man is averaging 23.4 points and 10.9 rebounds, which would both be career-highs. Meanwhile, Davis is averaging 19.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.

This is the second meeting between the two teams this year, with the Blazers coming out on top two Saturdays ago in a thrilling 110-107 win. Damian Lillard scored 29 points in the win and hit the go-ahead three with just over a minute play.

The other games (all times ET)

Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Bulls at Memphis Grizzlies, 8 p.m., NBA TV

Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8 p.m.

Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m.

Charlotte Bobcats at Utah Jazz, 9 p.m.

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