Breaking down the biggest NBA games this week: Giannis vs. Zion
The NBA is officially back and in full swing, and things should get crazy during this year unlike any other. We’ve got a nice slate this week with plenty of top teams facing off against each other, including some historic rivalries and faces of the league going head to head. Without further ado let’s dive into a few of the biggest contests this week.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7:30 p.m ET (ESPN) – Wednesday
This game should be great as both teams are playing really well at the moment. Philly has won five of their last six games to enter Monday at 12-5, although they do have a game against Detroit on Monday. Playing the Lakers on the second half of a back to back is a daunting task for anybody. Los Angeles has done a great job defending their title so far, starting off 13-4 and sitting atop the Western Conference.
Watching Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid do battle around the rim will be fun no matter what. LeBron James vs. Ben Simmons is also always entertaining due to their close relationship. The 76ers are the top team in the East, will this be the year they prove they’re for real and don’t disappoint in the playoffs? A win here on a national stage would go a long way toward proving they’re legit.
Milwaukee Bucks @ New Orleans Pelicans – 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) – Friday
What better way to kickoff the weekend than by watching Giannis Antetokounmpo square off against Zion Williamson. Two freight-trains who can get to the rim with earth-shattering explosiveness. This will only be the second time these two have played each other, so this is a treat. Milwaukee seems to have lost a step from last season, and while a 10-6 record is certainly nothing to hang their heads over, it looks like they’re still waiting for their new pieces to click together.
The Pelicans have been a massive disappointment. After Brandon Ingram took a huge leap to become an All-Star last year there was hope they’d be a playoff team this season with a healthy Williamson, but they certainly haven’t looked like it. They’ve gone just 5-10 in their first 15, ahead of only Minnesota in the West. It’s still early though, and a win at home over the Bucks would provide a huge shot of momentum.
Zion is an absolute body 😂
Like a linebacker driving to the rim, Zion leads all Pelicans scorers with 10 on 5/6 shooting. His O/U is 20.5 👀pic.twitter.com/1j9hZubUup
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) January 20, 2021
Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics – 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC) – Saturday
This matchup doesn’t have quite the same rivalry juice that it used to, but Lakers/Celtics is and forever will be iconic due to the storied history between these two franchises. In their first meeting last year the Celtics embarrassed Los Angeles by winning by 32, and the Lakers bounced back to win by two in the second meeting. As I mentioned above the Lakers have looked great so far, but clearly they’ve got their work cut out for them this week with a really difficult schedule.
This will be the third game in four nights for the Lakers, and the sixth game of a seven-game road trip. Will the Celtics be able to take advantage of some potential fatigue? Boston has lost three of four entering Monday, although two of the losses were on the road to the 76ers while they were shorthanded. Fortunately it looks like they’ll have Jayson Tatum back after he missed a couple of weeks with COVID-19, and obviously they’re a different team with him on the floor.Last updated: Mon 25th January 2021