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Can't Miss Slants

What to Watch this Weekend

I recommend the following things:

Friday January 25, 2019

Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets, 7:00 CST on ESPN

The Raptors, tied for first in the East, face perhaps the hottest team in basketball in Houston.   James Harden has been on an absolute tear, and is now averaging 36.3 points per game.  Only two players have ever averaged more over a full season: Wilt Chamberlain (five times), and Michael Jordan in 1986-87.

Saturday January 26, 2019

Naomi Osaka vs. Petra Kvitova, Australian Open, 2:30 a.m. CST on ESP and Tennis Channel

Japan’s Osaka, quickly rocketing her way to tennis super stardom, looks to nab her second-straight Grand Slam trophy facing Russia’s Kvitova.  Kvitova is no pushover, however, having won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014.  I’ll be honest fellas, neither is traditionally beautiful.  You’ll have to set aside your misogyny and wake up early anyways.

Georgia Tech at #2 Duke, 11:00 a.m. CST, Watch ESPN App

Although preferring college basketball to the NBA is a sign you may be a racist, this is the most fun a Duke team has ever been, and there is not a whole lot of better excuses to crack a brew early and start your sports viewing adventures for the day.  If you live in the northern portion of the country, going outside is not much of an option anyway.

The Reese’s Senior Bowl, NFL Network

Hey, you’re already drinking.

Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez, 12 rounds, for Thurman’s WBA welterweight title, Fox (Main Card Starts at 7:00 p.m. CST)

A title fight with an actually good champion in Thurman on normal, free for all TV?  Its basically a miracle.  Watch it, even if you don’t care, so that those of us who do care can count on boxing on network TV going forward.  Thanks.

Philadelphia 76ers at Denver Nuggets, 8:00 p.m. CST, NBA League Pass

If pugilism isn’t your speed, consider making a single-game purchase (if you are not a league pass subscriber) and watching two the game’s best young centers duke it out on behalf of Teams that Sorta Matter.  Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic may not be true MVP contenders, but they are close enough that NBA media pretends they are.  Each is entertaining for entirely different reasons, and their particular skillsets challenge the other’s abilities on defense.

Sunday January 27, 2019

Novak Djokavic vs. Rafa Nadal, Australian Open 2:30 a.m. CST on ESPN and Tennis Channel

Novak is no. 1, Rafa is no. 2.  Novak has 72 career titles and 14 Grand Slam trophies, while Nadal as 80 and 17, respectively.  Although Rafa is just one year older than Djokavic, he matured early and dominated their matchup until approximately 2011.  Since, Novak has had the better of their rivalry, which features 52 matches with a slight edger overall to Djokovic of 27-25.  Although Rafa and Federer are often considered to be the have the greatest rivalry in the history of tennis, in truth it pales compared to the matchup between these two in every way except slam finals given the age of these players, especially in light of all the matches yet to come.  In 2012 these two played a 5 hour, 53 minute Australian Open final in which Djokovic prevailed.  This match will, without question, be vital in how each player is viewed historically.

NFL Pro Bowl, 2:00 p.m. CST, ESPN, ABC

I don’t know man.  There isn’t much football left.

Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder, 5:00 p.m. CST on ESPN

Bucks in Five.