The Indiana Pacers are the NBA's last unbeaten team, so every game they play until they lose has an added layer of drama. In Saturday's lone nationally televised game they take on the Brooklyn Nets, who are still trying to find their way. There are eight other games on the menu for Saturday, with several tasty matchups to enjoy.
Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m., FS Florida
The Magic probably won't be beating contenders by double-digits at the end of the year, but NBA watchers should enjoy this while it lasts. The Victor Oladipo Experience is very real and Nikola Vucevic has turned into one of the NBA's premier double-double machines. On the flip side, Paul Millsap has finally found his footing in Atlanta, putting up at least 20 and 10 in his past two games. Millsap and Al Horford put on a nightly clinic of versatile big man games.
Reading material: Orlando Pinstriped Post reminds us of the last time the Magic won in Atlanta, Peachtree Hoops takes us through how Dennis Schröder is trying to move past his suspension
Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:30 p.m., CSN-P, FS Ohio
The second night of a home-and-home back-to-back is always fun to watch, if only for comparison's sake. If the Sixers can pull off the sweep, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert will have to send out even more reassuring tweets. Kyrie Irving is playing well below the lofty standard he has set for himself and Anthony Bennett is … well … he's no Michael Carter-Williams coming out of the gate.
This Sixers team remains a terrific watch because by golly do they run the floor. Carter-Williams is electric and Evan Turner finally looks comfortable, displaying the all-around game that made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2010. Also, Andrew Bynum won't play.
Reading material: Liberty Ballers is feeling some kind of way about Andrew Bynum, Fear the Sword talks about Anthony Bennett's shoulder injury
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m., Sun Sports, CSN-NE
Don't look now, but the Boston Celtics are on a two game winning streak! That will probably come to an end against the Miami Heat, but the start to this season has been bizarre enough that a Celtics win wouldn't be outside of the realm of possibility. The thing to watch in this game is the Jeff Green-LeBron James matchup. Green is one of the few NBA players who can compare with James physically, and their battles the past few years have been great theater.
Reading material: CelticsBlog breaks down Avery Bradley's superb off-ball play, Hot Hot Hoops interviews former Heat player Malik Allen
The Main Course
Indiana Pacers at Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m., NBA TV, YES, FS Indiana
The Pacers are not only the last undefeated team in the NBA, they're also far outplaying everybody else. Everyone following the league is ready to crown Paul George a superstar — with good reason — and Roy Hibbert has continued his defensive leap from last year's playoffs to this year. Add in C.J. Watson and Luis Scola and the bench is now watchable, unlike last year's catastrophe.
The Nets are struggling to find themselves, but unlike last year that doesn't mean the basketball is ugly. Thanks to Kevin Garnett and new coach Jason Kidd, the ball movement on this team when all five starters play is a thing of beauty. Deron Williams is getting healthier and Paul Pierce looks fresh. The only thing Brooklyn needs is four consistent quarters in a row.
The highlight of this game will be the matchup between Hibbert and Brook Lopez. They are two of the league's five best pure centers and they'll match strength against strength with Lopez's post game and Hibbert's post defense. The bruising down low will be worth watching.
Reading material: Indy Cornrows is celebrating Larry Bird Day in Indiana, Nets Daily talks about the old Nets dealing with speed
The Side Dishes
Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets
8 p.m., CSN Houston, PRIME Ticket
This could really be another main course. The last time these two teams played, they combined for more than 250 points. In regulation. Chris Paul had his way with the Rockets' awful, awful perimeter defense and Dwight Howard created foul trouble for DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, so James Harden and Chandler Parsons got into the paint at will.
This time the game will be in Houston and the Rockets should put up more of a fight. Their perimeter defense improved in their last-second defeat to the Lakers on Thursday — even James Harden looked like he cared — and these two teams are too good at offense and too bad at defense for this not to be an entertaining game.
Reading material: Clips Nation breaks down what is sure to be a Texas shootout, The Dream Shake tries not to panic after another loss
Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m., SSO Memphis, CSN Bay Area
Run and gun vs. grit and grind. What else do you need to know?
Reading material: Golden State of Mind analyzes the Warriors stout defense, Grizzly Bear Blues ponders what to make of Ed Davis
Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings
10 p.m., KGW, CSN-CA
Another second night of a home-and-home, and this game should be a barnburner. The Blazers won by 13 on Friday night, but the game was entertaining throughout and the Sacramento crowd has been boisterous all season. DeMarcus Cousins has been automatic in the post, Isaiah Thomas has yet to cool off and Damian Lillard is even better this year.
Reading material: Blazers Edge breaks down Terry Stotts' comments on LaMarcus Aldridge future in Portland, Tom Ziller breaks down the Kings' shooting disparity for Sactown Royalty
Pass It On
Utah Jazz at Toronto Raptors
7 p.m., TSN2, ROOT Sports
This game should be watchable; the Jazz are young and the Raptors have a lot of good athletes. Derrick Favors and Jonas Valanciunas will go at one another. But after taking a look at the games listed above, this one won't be worth more than a cursory glance unless you're a Jazz or Raptors fan. The Jazz might be pressing a little trying to get their first win of the season.
Reading material: SLC Dunk asks, "What happened to offensive execution?", Raptors HQ is confident they won't be the Jazz's first win.
Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks
8:30 p.m., FS Southwest, FSN Wisconsin
Monta Ellis is having it all right now, and he should draw a mixed reaction from the fans in the Bradley Center. But the Bucks are a miserable, miserable watch as long as they have no point guard, and no amount of Montaball or the Dirkus Circus can make me want to watch a Bucks game until Brandon Knight comes back.
Reading material: Mavs Moneyball's fan fiction is a must-read every time, Brew Hoop reacts to Larry Sanders' apology
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