On Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors will play a pair of games in the O2 arena in London, England. It is the first time that regular season NBA games are being played overseas.

It is an unusual matchup to send overseas to represent the league to tens of thousands of sports enthusiasts, many of whom may not be full NBA fans just yet.

Many months ago, as the schedule was being set, it was clear that both squads were going to face difficult 2010-11 seasons. The Nets had just come off one of the worst years in the history of basketball and failed to land top stars in free agency. And the Raptors, already a lottery team, had just lost their best player, Chris Bosh, to the Miami heat in free agency.

While both the Nets and Raptors are perfectly fun to watch, it’s a shame London has to see a matchup of teams whose combined record this season is 34 wins and 87 losses.

One positive is the recent trade New Jersey made bringing Deron Williams onto their squad. He alone is often worth the price of admission.

Also, the teams match up nicely. The games should be competitive, which is always good.

Here’s hoping fans in London get the thrills they deserve.