A brand new year of NBA basketball is upon us, starting with a small slate of games on New Year's Day.
Main Course: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
8 p.m. ET
The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off a huge win over the Portland Trail Blazers and have an opportunity to break the .500 mark on the season when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves. Anthony Davis has been dominant since returning from his hand injury, averaging 17.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and two blocks over the last six games.
The Timberwolves are trying to shake off of a tough loss to the Dallas Mavericks that featured a botched call from the referees. The NBA reviewed the final play of the game and acknowledged the referees missed a foul call on Kevin Love that would have sent him to the free-throw line with a chance to tie the game in the final possession.
Both teams are fighting for a playoff seeding, ranked ninth and tenth in the Western Conference, and this could end up being a huge game for their postseason hopes down the road. Eric Gordon will player after missing time dealing with a bruised right hip.
Appetizer: Indiana Pacers vs. Toronto Raptors
7 p.m. ET
If you're into watching one of the best teams in the NBA then catching the Pacers visiting the Raptors is a solid way to start your year in basketball viewing. Indiana is on a five-game winning streak, piling up wins over their Eastern Conference brethren as well as a dominant victory against the Houston Rockets.
The Raptors have begun turning their ship around after dealing Rudy Gay. They've gone 8-3 in that stretch and folks are taking notice of the addition by subtraction:
Welp, Rudy Gay. pic.twitter.com/izNbUT5vSa— The Traveling Crab (@crabdribbles) January 1, 2014
Dessert: Charlotte Bobcats vs. Los Angeles Clippers
9:30 p.m. ET
End the night right with a Chris Paul nightcap. The Clippers look to bounce back from a blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns. Not convinced this is worth your time? Let our Bobcats blog hype you up with a diss rap:
Chris Paul and balls is vicious-like, call the cops and turn him in
Cup yourself and grab a tourniquet before it's your turn again
Yeah, he's a scrub and Blake is a schill for real
Breathin in Kia's bills through his gills,
Hornets back soon so shoutout to Scott Burrell
Byron looks like a 40 year old virgin like Steve Carrell
We won't sell out arenas but we compete and compel
And when we're through we'll hit up Papyrus for a nice card tellin you to get well
Soon, or maybe later, but we don't care, freakin' hell
Haters tryin to put us out of business like we sellin' stem cells
Still not interested? Fine, but only because it was New Year's last night.
The other games (all times ET)
Dallas Mavericks @ Washington Wizards, 6 p.m.