Every night in the NBA is hectic, but this week begins with an epic and exhilarating Monday night.
All 30 teams are taking part in a series of scheduled live matches – and even better, the deciding matches are spaced 15 minutes apart, so there will be six straight hours or so to go. Play basketball without interruption from the best players on the planet.
The way the fixtures are put together means that about six minutes after any match you start watching, another gets underway.
The basketball party that preceded the voluntary famine caused by the NBA’s decision to hold no games on US Election Day (Tuesday, November 8) had the opposite effect the day before: one night that every team in the league will play.
Every game will be available to NBA League Pass holders, and ‘NBA CrunchTime’ will give you a first-hand look at every game, especially in the final minutes of tightly contested endings. , in the same style as in NFL RedZone coverage.
Monday’s NBA games and tip time
- 12 a.m. (midnight): Wizards @ Hornets
- 12:15 am: Rockets @ Magic
- 12:30am: Thunder @ Pistons
- 12.45am: Pelicans @ Pacers
- 1am: Suns @ 76ers
- 1.15 am: Bucks @ Hawks
- 1:30am: Trail Blazers @ Heat
- 1.45am: Raptors @ Bulls
- 2am: Celtics @ Grizzlies
- 2:15 a.m.: Knicks @ Timberwolves
- 2:30am: Nuggets @ Spurs
- 2:45 a.m.: Nets @ Mavericks
- 3am: Kings @ Warriors
- 3:15 a.m.: Lakers @ Jazz
- 3:30 a.m.: Cavaliers @ Clippers
An incredible amount of talent will be on the court with a host of players with All-Star certifications on their career records being shortlisted, including first-timers like Ja Morant and Andrew Wiggins, although LeBron James was dropped from the Los Angeles Lakers to visit the Utah Jazz with a sore left foot.
The tournament is expected to have more than 285,000 fans across 15 different arenas. This is more than four times the record 62,046 singles set at George Dome when the Atlanta Hawks hosted Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls on March 27, 1998.
Top rookies early feature
Without an overall pick, Orlando Magic’s Paolo Banchero started the season in historic style, becoming the seventh rookie in league history to score 20 or more points in the first five games of his career. His first performance was a 25-point effort, 5 rebounds, 5 assists the first by a freshman since James.
Even with those numbers, Banchero is getting Kia’s Rookie of the Year award soon from an unexpected source. Sixth overall pick Bennedict Mathurin has presented himself as an NBA-ready scoring machine. The Pacers’ sixth rookie has had twice as many points in each of his games, including a trio of performances in excess of 25 points.
Banchero (12:15 a.m.) and Mathurin (12:45 a.m.) each hit the floor during the first hour of Monday’s hectic schedule.
Will Booker light up Philly again?
A single game by Zion Williamson, and the career averages of Jordan, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain. Those are the only examples of players averaging more points against the Philadelphia 76ers than Devin Booker, who has made training to burn the Sixers almost a habit.
Phoenix’s three-time All-Star on Monday averaged 29.7 points in 14 career games against Philadelphia, and hasn’t lost to the Sixers since January 2, 2019.
Will he have another big night?
Portland to burn the longest road
The Blazers shortened their straws for the furthest ride of this fun day. Portland will make a seven-hour, 2,700-mile flight to South Beach for the Heat.
The game will pit two of the All-NBA’s most consistent talents of the last decade (Damian Lillard and Jimmy Butler) as well as two young rising bodyguards (Portland’s Anfernee Simons and Miami’s Tyler Herro).
Morant vs Tatum
Electric air defiance meets silk-smooth cinematography in this clash of star power U25. Neither the rapidly rising Grizzlies nor the defending Eastern Celtics champions have had the desired start. This is a high chance for each of them to win against a dynamic opponent.
Busy night for NBA officials
It’s not just the teams, the stadium staff and the fans will show up in droves. Fifteen games means 60 on-site referees (three plus one substitute per game). That doesn’t include the replay hub, where enough eyes would be needed on a continuous and simultaneous basketball broadcast.
Then there’s the featured teams, the digital team, and all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into an entire tournament that will go all the way in about six hours.
Luka vs KD
Doncic had another tear to start the season. The three-time All-Star player scored more than 30 points in each game in the first seven games of the season, an unprecedented achievement since Chamberlain (he is now eight).
Durant, meanwhile, has barely seen his outstanding scoring ability diminished by the Nets’ overall struggles. The 12-time All-Star is having the highest points-per-game average since his MVP and scoring title during the 2013-14 season.
California, let’s have a party
The Warriors have built a championship dynasty, one that is still active after last season’s championship, through Drafts. The Kings have enjoyed higher Draft picks, but are mired in the longest playoff drought of the four major sports leagues in the United States.
Those resumes go head to head on Monday. Golden State will feature homegrown success stories by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole.
The Kings, meanwhile, are still looking for their first All-Star without a DeMarcus Cousins name since 2004.
Watch more NBA live this weekend as the Atlanta Hawks host the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday from 12:30 a.m.; The 76ers then host the Hawks on Saturday night from 12:30 a.m.; The Minnesota Timberwolves head to the Cleveland Cavaliers for our Sunday game from 11 p.m., all three live on Sky Sports Arena.