CANADIANS IN THE NBA
Dallas Mavericks at Cleveland Cavaliers (1:00pm EST)
With the acquisition of Luol Deng, playing time has been virtually inexistent for young Canadian, Anthony Bennett, so don’t expect to see him out on the floor tonight. Thompson will have his hands full trying to slow down the Mavs no.1 option in Dirk Nowitzki. He will have to put out an excellent defensive effort for the Cavs to have a chance.
L.A. Lakers at Chicago Bulls (8:00pm EST)
Steve Nash continues rehab in British Columbia and hopes to return by January 28th, with Kobe Bryant eyeing the same return date. This leaves Sacre as the only Canadian left on the roster. Playing behind Pau Gasol, averaging about 17mins a game, look for Sacre to crash the boards and help contain Joakim Noah.
Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets (7:30pm EST)
Nicholson’s minutes have been up-and-down as of late, and his numbers have done the same. After not getting any minutes at all in the game against Boston, look for Andrew to make the most of what he does get tonight. The Nets frontline is weakened with the loss of Brook Lopez, so this will be a good opportunity for Nicholson to put up some good numbers.
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat (7:30pm EST) (Sportsnet One)
Joel Anthony will be suiting up for the third time in Celtic green. He did not play in the first two, but look for Stevens to give him a shot against his old squad. Kelly Olynyk will be the feature canuck in this one, coming off two great performances over the weekend.
Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers (7:00pm EST)
All focus will be on Luol Deng’s return to the windy city, but under the radar and for the second game in a row, Tristan Thompson will be guarding an elite player in Joakim Noah. Noah is a defensive stud and Thompson will have to bring his A game to manage some points against the Bulls big man. Unless he has Carlos Boozer on him, then the defense will be the hard part as Boozer is a gifted scorer down-low
Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic (7:00 pm EST)
Andrew Nicholson will hope to see his minutes rise against the strong frontcourt of Paul Millsap and Al Horford in the Magic’s second game of the week.
Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors (7:00pm EST) (Sportsnet)
Samuel Dalembert is averaging 6 points and 6 rebounds of late, in a supporting role for the Mavs. The Montreal native will surely be looking for a memorable performance as he makes his way back north of the border.
Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards (7:00pm EST)
Kelly Olynyk and Joel Anthony will be joining their Celtics in Washington to face the Wiz. Anthony will be looking to make an impression on Coach Brad Stevens and Olynyk is hoping to continue his great play of late.
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs (8:00 EST)
Toronto native Cory Joseph has been playing well of late in a supporting role for the Spurs. He and aussie PG Patty Mills have been competing for time behind the starting PG Tony Parker.
L.A. Lakers at Miami Heat (8:00pm EST) (NBA TV)
Robert Sacre continues to be the only Canadian dressing in the purple and gold. Pau Gasol will have trouble keeping up with the fast-pace Heat so expect Sacre to get some significant time.
L.A. Lakers vs. Orlando Magic (7:00pm EST)
Two Canadians are suiting up for this one. Andrew Nicholson and his Magic will host Robert Sacre and the Lakers when they visit Orlando. Both play bench roles on their respective teams, so don’t be surprised to see a Canadian head to head match-up when the bench units it the floor.
San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks (7:30pm EST)
Cory Joseph is still competing for time with Patty Mills, so he will have to make the most of his opportunities when they face the Hawks Friday night. Coach Popovich has been showing trust in the young Canadian recently.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics (7:30pm EST)
This will be the fourth game for newly acquired Joel Anthony. By then, Anthony should be up to speed with team strategies and we will see how Brad Stevens looks to use him in moving forward. Kelly Olynyk will be on the floor as well, causing problems for the Thunder big men and tenaciously getting the garbage points the Celtics need to win.
Dallas Mavericks at Brooklyn Nets (7:30pm EST)
Samuel Dalembert will need to be active on the glass, combatting the likes of Kevin Garnett and Reggie Evans, and as always try to cover up the defensive woes of the Mavs.
Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers (7:30pm EST)
This is a bad Bucks team, and if Bennett is going to see any significant time in this rough first season, this would be the team to do it against. Tristan Thompson has every reason to have a breakout game against the Bucks who are a mess defensively and almost as bad scoring the ball.