As we head into the All-Star break, which will take place in Los Angeles, all contending teams set their eyes on the prize and look ahead to the playoffs. All the bubble teams look to first get in the playoffs. And teams like the T-Wolves, Cavaliers, Kings, and Wizards set their eyes on scouting and drafting future stars.
So as we head into February, lets take a look at the best games for the rest of the month.
February 3: Heat at Magic, and Spurs at Lakers (both games are on TNT)
These are probably the two biggest rivalries in the NBA this season. The Heat have been really struggling lately, and a blow out win against the Cavs doesn't prove much. The Magic have also had their struggles this season. The Spurs and Lakers battle in a matchup of the top two teams in the West. Both games will be fantastic games. The Magic and Lakers though will win.
Matchups to watch: MIA at ORL: Heat front court vs. Magic front court
SA at LA: Manu Ginobli vs. Kobe Bryant
February 6: Magic at Celtics (ABC)
Its the third and final meeting between these two teams this year, with each team winning at home so far. The Celtics are the best team in the East right now, and the Magic can use their new weapons against them to try and knock them off the floor.
What is the best game of the month?
Matchup to watch: Dwight Howard vs. Perkins/Shaq
February 9: Pistons at Cavaliers ( I'm joking)
This could actually be the Cavaliers first win since, umm, I don't really know.
Clippers at Knicks (NBA TV)
Im serious about this one though. It might not sound like a great game, but when you Blake Griffin on the MSG floor for the 1st time as a pro, against Amare Stoudemire, that is must watch TV.
Matchup to watch: Blake Griffin vs. Amare Stoudemire
Bulls at Jazz
Two of the top five point guards face off in Utah. This should be a key matchup for the Jazz, as they are fighting for a playoff spot. This is also Boozer's, Korver's and the rest of the former Jazz player on Chicago first return to Utah.
Matchup to watch: Derrick Rose vs. Deron Williams
February 10: Lakers at Celtics (TNT)
The first meeting between these teams didn't go well for the Lakers. But they have a chance to get revenge against Boston in Boston, where it is very hard to win if you are the road team. But Kobe has done well in Boston, so he will try to lead his team to victory. But interesting stat: Last six times Kobe has scored more then 35 plus points, Lakers have lost five of them.
Which following team has the best chance of making the Finals?
Matchup to watch: Every other player on the floor who's not named Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce.
February 11: Lakers at Knicks (ESPN)
And then the Lakers travel to the other garden and take on the Knicks the very next day. last time the Lakers were in town, Kobe got 61. The Knicks, who have been good this whole season, will try to avenge their lost against this team just a couple of weeks ago. If these teams meet in the finals the next 3-4 years or so, this rivalry is back and running.
Matchup to watch: Pau Gasol vs. Amare Stoudemire.
February 13: Heat at Celtics (ABC)
Pretty much the only team the Heat can't figure out are the Celtics. They have lose both times they have played Boston, one in Boston and the other in Miami. So we know both teams will be fired up for this game. This game has the potential that the winner will get the No. 1 seed in the East.
Matchup to watch: LeBron James vs. Paul Pierce
February 16: Lakers at Cavaliers
I have to put this one up. Do I want to? No. But I have to. The Cavs have no chance, especially after losing to the Lakers already this year 112-57.
Who will win the Finals?
Matchup to watch: Whatever you want.
February 20: East at West: All Star Game (TNT)
This is going to be a very exciting all star game. With players in the East starting like Derrick Rose, Amare Stoudemire, and Dwight Howard, vs. West players starting like Kobe, Chris Paul and Yao Ming?
Matchup to watch: Every matchup will be great.
Prediction: East wins. MVP: Amare Stoudemire
February 23: Thunder at Spurs (ESPN)
These two teams are arguably the best two teams in the west not named the L.A. Lakers. We have superstars all around you in this game with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
Matchup to watch: Kevin Durant vs. whoever is guarding him.
February 27: Lakers at Thunder (ABC)
Its the second meeting between these two teams after their playoff meeting last season. The Thunder gave the Lakers the hardest time in the playoffs, besides the Celtics.
Matchup to watch: Kobe Bryant vs. whoever guards him.
Knicks at Heat (ESPN)
The Heat have won two of the three meetings this year, but the Knicks won the last one at the Garden two weeks ago at time of writing. The Knicks only meeting vs. Miami in Miami wasnt close until the end. The Knicks will try and make sure that doesn't happen again.
Matchup to watch: Amare Stoudemire vs. Joel Anthony