From Jan. 11-Jan. 17, there are nearly 30 games scheduled to air on national TV, but there are a number of other can't-miss games around the association that can only be found on NBA League Pass.
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From the Cleveland Cavaliers, who earn the distinction of League Pass team of the week, to some of the most exciting matchups of the week, get an idea of what to look out for this week on NBA League Pass.
All times Eastern.
Team to watch: Cleveland Cavaliers
Monday, Jan. 11 vs. Memphis Grizzlies | Tuesday, Jan. 12 vs. Utah Jazz | Friday, Jan. 15 vs. New York Knicks | Sunday, Jan. 17 at Washington Wizards (on NBA TV Canada)
It's a special time for sports fans in the state of Ohio, as the Cleveland Browns have won their first playoff game since 1994, the Ohio State Buckeyes are a finalist in the College Football Playoff and the Cleveland Cavaliers are off to their best start (from a non-LeBron James team) in 10 seasons.
Sure, the Cavs 5-5 record through 10 games might not jump off of the page, but this year's team has provided plenty to be excited about, for this year and for the years to come.
It all begins with 22-year-old Collin Sexton, who, through eight games, is averaging 25.1 points on .531/.516/.829 shooting splits. He's come to be a model of consistency early on, scoring 20-or-more points in each of the first eight contests to set a new Cavs franchise record, breaking a 16-year-old mark held by LeBron.
One new @cavs record is born, another continues to grow.#BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/ERWYRL4Hm7- FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) January 7, 2021
Sexton has missed some time due to a troublesome ankle but should be due to return to the lineup for the coming week.
Fortunately for Cleveland, it's much more than a one-man show, as Andre Drummond is averaging 17.9 points and a league-leading 15.2 rebounds in 10 games while Sexton's backcourt mate, Darius Garland, is averaging 17.2 points and 6.3 assists while shooting 46.9% from deep over six games.
Garland and Sexton headline a movement for the future that also features rookie forward Isaac Okoro, who has already shown flashes of being an excellent defender, including a game-saving block reminiscent of the guy that once wore No. 23 in a Cavs uniform.
CLEAN BLOCK! #BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/GcSs3BpqxK- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 8, 2021
It's been five years since Cleveland hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy and just two members of the roster remain. Kevin Love, who never went anywhere, has been limited to just two games so far this season while Matthew Dellavedova, who rejoined Cleveland after time with the Milwaukee Bucks, is due to miss time while in the league's concussion protocol.
That the Cavs have remained afloat despite being plagued by injuries - Dante Exum and Dylan Windler are also missing extended time - speaks to the culture that J.B. Bickerstaff is cultivating and the leadership of veterans JaVale McGee and Larry Nance Jr., who turned in a perfect night with 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 shooting from deep just one week ago.
.@Larrydn22 is the first player in franchise history to go 7-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from three in the same game.#BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/c7O06B4TEy- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 8, 2021
Cleveland will be put to the test with a four-game slate that begins with three home games against the Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz and New York Knicks. The Cavs, who return home after a six-game road swing, defeated the Grizzlies by four points last week, while they suffered a nine-point loss to the Knicks in late December.
It will be Cleveland's first meetings with Utah and Washington but there will be a number of fun things to keep an eye on. When the Jazz head to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, there could be plenty of backcourt firepower with Sexton and Garland potentially facing off with Ohio State alum Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell, while former Cav Jordan Clarkson comes off the bench.
There will be plenty of Australian content as well, with Dellavedova, Exum, Joe Ingles and Thon Maker.
The Wizards are one of the weaker defensive teams in the league, providing an opportunity for Garland and Sexton to put up gaudy scoring numbers, should they return to the lineup by then. Cleveland has an opportunity to remain around or get back above-.500 as it gets a chance to play more on its home floor.
After playing seven of their first 10 away from home, the Cavs can capitalize on returning to Ohio while sports fandom is at its highest since 2016.
Best Games of the Week
Monday, Jan. 11: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 12: San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 13: Dallas Mavericks vs. Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 14: Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 15: Chicago Bulls vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 15: Atlanta Hawks vs. Utah Jazz, 9 p.m.
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