Despite an 11-game slate, there are not many intriguing matchups. But if you can fight your eyelids at the end of a work week, the Chicago Bulls visit the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET.
This is a getaway game for the Bulls, who started the season with a four-game trek through California. They stole a win from the Lakers on Christmas but were beaten by Golden State the following night.
After two days off, the Bulls bounced back with Thursday’s 108-98 win at Sacramento as C.J. Watson picked up the slack for a foul-plagued Derrick Rose. Chicago is a deep team but did not play well in its first back-to-back of the season. It will be interesting to see how they respond Friday, with a night in their own beds in the back of their minds.
This will be the home opener for the Clippers, who may have the easiest early schedule of any team. They don’t play back-to-back games until Jan. 10-11 and don’t leave the Pacific time zone again until Jan. 17. However, their first trip out of PST did not go well as they were schooled by San Antonio, 115-90, on Wednesday.
Plenty of people are predicting great things for the Clippers this season. If the combination of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul is going to elevate them to elite status, they have to start competing on the road – or beating good teams at home.
Look at it this way: If the Clippers lose tonight, they will be 1-2, with a win over Golden State and losses to San Antonio and Chicago. Which sounds an awful lot like, well, the Clippers.
One final note: The early game on NBA TV is Phoenix at New Orleans. The Suns have signed Michael Redd, who immediately becomes the first option for an awful team that could lose 50 games. Look at their roster and tell me who should get the ball before Redd. I cannot imagine Steve Nash finishing the season in Phoenix.
Want to win two free tickets to an NBA game in your area? Click here to learn how.