Daily Things To Know (article header)

5 NBA things to know for Jan. 17

Some key storylines and NBA tidbits to know for the day ahead

1. Should Harris be an All-Star?

The Sixers host the Bulls tonight (7 ET, ESPN) in what will mark the final national TV appearance by Chicago. While that’s an interesting tidbit, of course, perhaps what’s worth watching more tonight is the play of Philadelphia forward Tobias Harris. In the final All-Star voting update, Harris’ name was nowhere to be found despite him being one of three players (Jaylen Brown and Karl-Anthony Towns are the others) to average at least 19.5 points, 70 3-pointers and shoot 48% overall and 35% on 3-pointers. This kind of spotlight could be just the stage Harris needs to bolster his All-Star case.

2. Stretch run begins for Mavs, Blazers

Props to our Michael C. Wright, who didn’t find it a stretch in our season preview to tab the Mavs as playoff hopeful in 2019-20. As a showdown with Portland looms (9:30 ET, ESPN), Dallas is 1/2 game behind Houston for the No. 5 seed. As for the Blazers, the hope was they’d use last season’s run to the West finals to do even bigger things — but that hasn’t been the case. They’re No. 10 in the West and tonight’s game is their second of three straight against teams over .500. The Mavs’ schedule is fairly challenging ahead, too, so this game could set the tone for how each team begins the final leg of 2019-20.

3. Surprising squads meet in OKC

At the season’s halfway point, both Miami and Oklahoma City are drawing rave reviews for their showing so far. As they meet tonight (8 ET, League Pass), know that both teams are capable foes when facing the opposing conference (Miami is 9-6 vs. the West; OKC is 16-12 vs. the East). Heat rookie Kendrick Nunn has overcome a mini-slump and has been solid vs. West foes since Christmas, averaging 23.5 ppg against them in that span. As for the Thunder, their guard trio of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder (deservedly) get a lot of credit. Don’t overlook Danilo Gallinari, though, who has been averaging 21.3 ppg since Christmas.

4. Happy Birthday, Dwyane Wade!

The former Miami Heat legend is just a week away from having his No. 3 immortalized by the franchise in a special ceremony. As he turns 38 today, though, it’s time to take a minute an look back on a player who won three championships, a Finals MVP and provided countless memories to NBA fans in his 16 seasons. These 35 plays below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to encapsulating what made Wade so great.

5. On this date: LeBron makes history

Seven years ago today, LeBron James surpassed the 20,000-career points mark in a Miami Heat road win against the Golden State Warriors. James eclipsed the milestone when he made a short jumper with 2:45 left in the second quarter to give him 20,001 career points. He needed 18 points entering the game to be the 38th NBA player to reach the mark. James was 28 years, 17 days old when he accomplished the feat, besting the mark previously set by Kobe Bryant (29 years, 122 days old).