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NBA schedule unprecedentedly drab this weekend

Timberwolves-Cavaliers part of underwhelming NBA schedule

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 28: Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in action while Dante Exum #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers defends in the first quarter of the game at Target Center on December 28, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Cavaliers defeated the Timberwolves 94-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

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The NFL playoffs arrive just in time.

Football already dominates ratings, especially with the NBA struggling. But even many viewers partial to basketball might favor Wild Card Weekend this year.

Because the NBA’s Saturday and Sunday games sure lack appeal.

None of today’s 11 or tomorrow’s five NBA games feature a matchup between winning teams.

This is the first time in NBA history with so many games – 16! – in consecutive days that each include a team with a losing record.

The NBA has been top-heavy so far this season. Just 13 teams – six in the Eastern Conference, seven in the Western conference – have winning records. Combine the randomness of scheduling, and you get this oddity.

Saturday NBA schedule:

  • Grizzlies (13-22) at Clippers (25-11)
  • Raptors (23-12) at Nets (16-17)
  • Jazz (22-12) at Magic (16-19)
  • Thunder (19-15) at Cavaliers (10-24)
  • Pacers (22-13) at Hawks (7-28)
  • Celtics (24-8) at Bulls (13-22)
  • Nuggets (24-10) at Wizards (10-24)
  • Pistons (12-23) at Warriors (9-27)
  • Spurs (14-19) at Bucks (31-5)
  • Hornets (14-23) at Mavericks (22-12)
  • Pelicans (11-24) at Kings (13-22)

Sunday NBA schedule:

  • Knicks (10-25) at Clippers (25-11)
  • Trail Blazers (15-21) at Heat (25-10)
  • Timberwolves (13-21) at Cavaliers (10-24)
  • Grizzlies (13-22) at Suns (14-21)
  • Pistons (12-23) at Lakers (28-7)

This doesn’t mean the games won’t be interesting. It’s the NBA regular season. Effort level can vary. Tight games can occur in any contest.

But these aren’t the matchups that generate hype.

The next game between winning teams comes Monday – Thunder (19-15) at 76ers (23-14). Yet, that’s the only one of nine games Monday between winning teams. Unless Brooklyn beats Toronto and Orlando, there will be no games between teams with winning records in six games Tuesday, either.

Maybe this will work out for the NBA. There will inevitably be less-interesting matchups. Might as well have them on a weekend the NFL will dominate, anyway.

It leaves more good NBA games for later in the season.