By Craig Kwasniewski
Thursday night on TNT and the schedule has a very November feel to it. Meaning that on the must see scale of things, tonight's games rank a 4 out of 10. Whatever, it's good time killer while camping out for the PS3.
(BTW - Not to play the whole grizzled vet card regarding Holiday hype, but feel free to wait like 4 months to get the PS3. Every year, the "it" gift is under-supplied to increase demand and hype. Soon you'll see crappy parents paying $1,500 to buy little Skyler's happiness. Just wait! Okay so you're not the first barista to get the PS3, but at least you're the most sane one.)
Back to the preview (all times Pacific):
Chicago at Houston (5:00 PM): Chicago's chuck and duck offense versus a kinder, gentler Jeff Van Gundy. The Rockets are starting off on the right foot at 5-3, with nice wins over Dallas and Miami. However, their Van Gundy-ness showed in a loss to San Antonio on Tuesday. They scored 9 freakin' points in the 4th quarter and blew a 19-point lead.
Anyway, Chicago's offense is basically heave the ball and crash the boards hard. If Yao stays out of foul trouble, this should be a relatively easy win for Houston.
Sacramento at Golden State (7:30 PM): Wow, get Nellie as a head coach and suddenly you're TNT material. This game offers a glimpse into the future of Sacramento hoops. Seek the Oracle (Arena)! No seriously, download directions to the Oracle Arena in Alameda, California because that will be the closest NBA team to Sac-town in 2 years. I'm not buying into the sudden effort by David Stern to save Sacramento. It comes down to simple money. As long as small-ish towns continue to whore themselves out to professional teams (Oklahoma City), you'll see smarter cities like Sacramento getting screwed. Big props for Sacramento-ians (Sac-ians, Sacramento-ites... screw it: No-Cal) for voting down a tax initiative to give the Maloofs a free stadium.
This should be an up-tempo game with Golden State playing typical Nellie Ball (read: absolutely zero defense!) Side bonus: watch for Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim try to throw elbows at each other. I know they're on the same team, but they absolutely hate each other... good times. Anyway, that long roadie from Sacramento to Golden State could wreak havoc on the Kings, but they'll still win.