Thanksgiving break is a time for gathering around the cramped family living room to cheer on your football team of choice, all while strategically placing yourself next to the desserts and away from your weird uncle.
Though this might be the tried and true routine, let us not forget that there is also some great basketball to watch as some of the early season stories and surprises continue to play out almost a month into the season. Here are the most thematic games to watch on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday during pre and post-turkey snacking.
Wednesday: The “Family bonding” game.
Hangin’ with your family Wednesday night? Check out the Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs game kicking off at 7:30 p.m. This game, featuring basketball icons of yesteryear, should be sure to bring on some classic quotes about the current state of basketball from Mom and Dad. I can already hear the chorus of parents around the nation talking about “physical basketball,” “solid fundamentals” and “the invention of the 3-pointer”.
Honestly though, this matchup will be very interesting. The Spurs, still getting used to that lingering “new-team smell,” will look to improve upon an already solid opening few weeks.
On the other side, Dirk Nowitzki will probably still be playing pranks on father-time with his patented fade-away and jersey adjustment.
Personally I can’t wait to watch Tim Duncan and Dirk meet in the paint for one of what may be the last few times ever depending on if either decide this season will be their last. At ages 39 and 37 respectively, they have played a collective 35 seasons, which is nine more than the entire Philadelphia 76ers team combined. In other words, there should be plenty to talk about with the baby-boomers in your life.
Friday: The “Maybe the players will work off my calories for me” game.
If you are like me, the day after Thanksgiving is full of the feels. Mostly the feeling of, “I might have actually permanently affected the state of my stomach with my decisions yesterday”. What we all really need that day is a chance to sit back in regret and watch others put their bodies to work. Tipping off at 7:00 p.m. is a great Eastern Conference game between the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers that promises solid action on all fronts.
Want jaw-dropping assists? Derrick Rose is finally returning to form and should be able to hit Mirotic in the corner for three with some whacky pin-point passes. Looking for high-flying posterizing dunks? Between Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and the back-to-all-star-form Paul George, these teams definitely have their tray-tables and seatbacks in the upright and locked positions.
Saturday: The “It’s me against the world” game.
Picture yourself on Saturday, the 28th of November. You are probably saying goodbye to family and mentally preparing for the last week of school and the daunting trials of finals. You are the master of your own destiny.
Want to know who else is feeling that pain? Try Kobe Bryant and Damian Lillard. At 9:00 p.m. the Lakers face off against the Portland Trail Blazers in a game featuring these two men who hold the weight of their respective teams on their shoulders.
Kobe, being Kobe, is trying to salvage what may be his last season as injuries and bumps along the road look to derail him at every step along the way, much like us Seniors really.
Damian Lillard on the other hand has the challenge of filling the “star” vacuum left after LaMarcus Aldridge left for the lone-star state in the off-season.
If you find yourself watching this game take notes. Kobe who is averaging a massive 16 shots per game, is the symbol of “keep on trucking” for us as students. I just hope you shoot better than his 33% field goal percentage. Damian Lillard is four years into his career and is averaging a career high 24 points per game. Watch Lillard for inspiration on how to take the struggles in stride and come out better than ever.
Between the food and the sports, I will be one happy Davis and I hope you are one happy *insert name here.*