Hello everyone! Tonight we have eight NBA games that feature former University of Kentucky Wildcats, including a late nationally-televised game starring two powerhouse teams that promise to go deep into the playoffs. Let’s see who we can spot on the hardwood.
7:00pm ET on NBA League Pass: Indiana Pacers (15-17) at Washington Wizards (14-16)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: John Wall
These are two teams who were expected to have much better performances than what we’ve seen so far in the season. Hopes were high that John Wall’s Wizards especially would return to the playoffs. Right now, Indiana is in the 9th spot and Washington is in the 10th spot in the standings in the East, so both are fighting for their playoff lives. It would be easy for either club to overtake the Milwaukee Bucks who sit in the 8th spot.
7:00pm ET on NBA League Pass: Charlotte Hornets (17-14) at Orlando Magic (15-18)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jodie Meeks
The Hornets are having another stellar year, led by Kemba Walker and MKG, and they’re looking to defend their seat in the 4th spot in the East tonight as they go up against the Magic. Jodie Meeks will come off the bench for Orlando. (Hornets’ Aaron Harrison is with the D-League’s Greensboro Swarm)
8:00pm ET on NBA League Pass: Los Angeles Clippers (22-11) at New Orleans Pelicans (12-21)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones
Normally, I wouldn’t give the Pelicans much of a chance against the Clippers, but some key players are either out or questionable for this game: Blake Griffin is out after knee surgery; and Chris Paul and JJ Redick are doubtful with hamstring troubles (update: Doc Rivers has announced that Chris Paul will play tonight). DeAndre Jordan was in a “minor” car accident yesterday, but traveled with the team to New Orleans for the game. On the other side of the court, the only player listed on the Pelicans’ injury report is Quincy Pondexter who continues to recover from a knee injury. The Pelicans need to take advantage of a weakened Clippers squad and get a desperately needed win at home.
8:00pm ET on NBA League Pass: Brooklyn Nets (8-22) at Chicago Bulls (15-16)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: Rajon Rondo
The Bulls are looking to make it to .500 as they welcome one of the worst teams in the league. Bulls’ head coach Fred Hoiberg benched Rondo for the 4th quarter in their last game vs the Indiana Pacers, but he is projected to start tonight’s game, so looks like everything’s been figured out. We’ll see how long the Bulls need their starters, though… they might get to watch a good portion of the game from the sidelines.
8:30pm ET on NBA League Pass: Phoenix Suns (9-22) at San Antonio Spurs (25-6)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Brandon Knight, Tyler Ulis
If you don’t mind watching a David vs Goliath-type matchup, this is your chance to again see these four former Cats take the court. Tyler Ulis has gotten 2 DNP-CD in the Suns’ last 5 games, so he may not take the floor tonight. Watch this game with the right mindset and it’ll be fun.
9:00pm ET on NBA League Pass: Minnesota Timberwolves (10-21) at Denver Nuggets (13-18)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: Karl Anthony-Towns, Jamal Murray
Minnesota is another team that I thought would perform much better than they have so far. They have a young, exciting “big three” in Towns, LaVine and Wiggins. They go up against Denver tonight, and Murray seems to have figured things out. Kenneth Faried is always good for high-energy. This game should be fast-paced and entertaining.
MY GAME OF THE NIGHT: 10:00pm ET on NBA League Pass: Sacramento Kings (14-17) at Portland Trail Blazers (13-20)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere
Rewind the Kings’ tape to December 20th and you’ll find the night DeMarcus Cousins’ mouthguard “fell out” as he yelled toward the Portland bench at Meyers Leonard. Cousins was ejected, then after the officials huddled up, the ejection was rescinded and Cousins was able to re-enter the game, and play through to the final buzzer, leading the Kings to a 126-121 win over Portland. After the game, neither Cousins nor Leonard minced words when speaking about each other to the media. Now, the Kings are in Portland for a rematch. Cousins will have a huge bullseye on his back. Every single Trail Blazers player will be trying to get him in trouble, trying to get him to pick up another tech, trying to get him ejected. This will be the most entertaining game of the evening by far, in terms of looking for extemporaneous drama.
10:30pm ET on NBA-TV: Toronto Raptors (22-8) at Golden State Warriors (27-5)
Former Kentucky Wildcats: Patrick Patterson
This is the only nationally televised game of the evening that features anyone from Kentucky, and this matchup should be competitive, featuring all sorts of big names: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green… the list goes on. These are two highly-ranked teams: Raptors are 2nd in the East behind Cleveland, and the Warriors are 1st in the west. By the way… Cavs’ record is 23-7… Raps’ record is 22-8. If you’re looking to watch two “good teams,” this is your game.
There you have it, a rundown of where you can find some of our former University of Kentucky Wildcats playing in the NBA this evening. Enjoy!