NBA Viewing Guide: Spurs and Pacers clash on full Saturday night

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Two potential title contenders square off Saturday night during a nine-game slate.

The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs have a combined five losses this year — less than half of any team in the Atlantic Division — and they play Saturday night in San Antonio in what should be one of the best games of the early season. The Pacers lost to the Western Conference-leading Blazers on Monday and have another shot to beat another of the league's elite on the road.

Here's the rest of the menu for Saturday in the NBA (All times Eastern).

The Appetizers

Los Angeles Clippers at Cleveland Cavaliers

7:30 p.m., RSN, Fox Sports Ohio, FSW-LAC

The disappointing Cavaliers appeared to be turning a corner after big wins over the Bulls and Nuggets this week, but Friday night they were blown out by the Hawks and seem back at square one. Things don't get any easier Saturday night when they host the Clippers. The results of this game likely won't be suspenseful — at least Clippers fans hope they won't be — but this is appointment viewing because of the Chris Paul-Kyrie Irving matchup.

Reading material: Clips Nation says it's time to starting a winning streakFear the Sword is frustrated with the Cavs' apparent lack of effort

Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies

8 p.m., SSO-Memphis, CSN Bay Area

After their blazing start, the Warriors have cooled off of late and are teetering toward .500. They should be fine once Andre Iguodala returns, but this team needs a hot streak in a bad way. That could come Saturday night in Memphis, which should be a fun watch just to see the clash of styles. The Grizzlies are missing a key cog of their own in Marc Gasol, but Tony Allen hounding Steph Curry all night long should be the key matchup that swings this game.

Reading material: Golden State of Mind is nervous about the Dubs' recent playGrizzly Bear Blues discusses Z-Bo's riches

The Main Course

Indiana Pacers at San Antonio Spurs

8:30 p.m., Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Indiana

This is a big one. Although injuries have put a serious damper on the season's first quarter, undoubtedly its high points have been the matchups between the league's best teams. Whether it's Thunder-Clippers, Warriors-Thunder, Pacers-Blazers, each of the games has lived up to the billing and more. With two of the most complete teams in the league squaring off, this figures to be another excellent game. The matchup between Paul George and Kawhi Leonard is something NBA fans will be looking forward to for the next decade.

Reading material: Indy Cornrows tells us about the Pacers' bumpy flight to San AntonioPounding the Rock gives us a thorough scouting report on Danny Green's defense

The Side Dishes

Miami Heat at Minnesota Timberwolves

8 p.m., Sun Sports, Fox Sports North

Now this should be fun. Both of these teams love to get up and down the floor. The Timberwolves are seventh in the league in percentage of points via the fast break, per NBA.com's stats database and while the Heat are in the bottom half of the league in that category, they are the most lethal team when they do decide to run. The Timberwolves have a losing record so far this year — a massive disappointment considering they have playoff aspirations and are mostly healthy — but they're always a fun watch. Also: Michael Beasley revenge game!

Reading material: Hot Hot Hoops previews the matchup and discusses the Heat's injuriesCanis Hoopus breaks down what the Wolves will look like without Kevin Love

Dessert

Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers

10 p.m.. NBA TV, KGW, Fox Sports Southwest-Dallas

At this point, with the Blazers 17-3, every game in the Moda Center (R.I.P. Rose Garden) is a must-see. The crowd is electric and the Blazers are playing a beautiful brand of basketball. The games are reaching Warriors territory in terms of just how much fun they are to watch. Add LaMarcus Aldridge and Dirk Nowitzki trading turnaround midrange jumpers and Damian Lillard and Monta Ellis squaring off, and this is clearly the second-best game of the night. NBA TV chose well.

Reading material: Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge writes an obituary for the Jazz after the Blazers' 130-98 winMavs Moneyball asks whether the Mavericks have a bench

Pass It On

Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers

7 p.m., CSN Philadelphia, Altitude

The Nuggets need to bounce back after a rough week, including a dispiriting loss to the Celtics on national television Friday night. The 76ers are finally falling back to earth, losing two of their last eight games. There will be a lot of running in this game, but lots of turnovers as well.

Reading material: Denver Stiffs previews the Nuggets' next stop on their countrywide "tanking tour"Liberty Ballers starts to come to grips with the Sixers' losing streak

Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls

8 p.m., WGN, Fox Sports Detroit

Luol Deng is a game-time decision as the Bulls' injury woes continue. The Pistons have won three straight games and could be beginning to separate themselves from the morass that is the Eastern Conference. Or, Brandon Jennings could shoot 25 times and the Bulls could win by 20. If that happens, the score will likely be 60-40 between these two teams.

Reading material: Detroit Bad Boys breaks down Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's defensive impactBlog a Bull previews the game while reflecting on the win against the Heat

Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks

8:30 p.m., YES, Fox Sports Wisconsin

This game is so depressing it gets only one sentence.

Reading material: Nets Daily talks about Jason Terry's "we're a great team" statementThe Greek Freak remains the best

Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz

9 p.m., CSN CA, Root Sports

I don't care how bad they are, the Kings are a watchable team. Isaiah Thomas is the most exciting bench player in the league this side of Jamal Crawford, and he's on fire of late. The Jazz look much better now that Trey Burke is healthy and in the lineup.

Reading material: Sactown Royalty laments letting a game slip away in Los AngelesSLC Dunk details how the Jazz and Kings don't like each other

More from SB Nation NBA:

Ziller: Everything you need to know about Isaiah Thomas

Derrick Rose-less Bulls blow out Heat

The first time the NBA played in Mexico City

The Hook: How to eliminate intentional fouls from the NBA

Deeks: When should NBA teams pay the luxury tax?

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