The Christmas Day NBA Rundown
It’s the most wonderful DAY of the year, y’all!
It’s the most wonderful time of the MF’in YEAR!!!!! Gone are the days of me looking forward to Christmas Day to see if I get the latest Sims expansion pack. Now I look forward to Christmas Day because I get to watch basketball all damn day. Let’s take at the match-ups we have this year, shall we?
Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks
When: 12 PM (EST)
Where to watch: ESPN
Who I think will win: Bucks
I’m watching this game purely for Giannis and his MVP-status performance this season. The Knicks recently lost in a blowout to the Phoenix Suns so, yeah…not having a great year. Tim Hardaway Jr. started off strongly, but has been quiet lately due to plantar fasciitis. Of course, everyone’s favorite Latvian is still out. That’s a real bummer, as I’d love to see a Unicorn/Greek Freak Christmas Day face-off.
The Bucks, however, are having an exceptional season so far. I wrote about how the Bucks are really good here, and it doesn’t look like they plan on slowing down any time soon. There’ll be some sick dunks and mean mugs from Giannis and threes from everyone else on the team, including Brook Lopez. That’s enough for me.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets
When: 3 PM (EST)
Where to watch: ABC
Who I think will win: Thunder
The Rockets won’t have Chris Paul, who’s out with a hamstring strain, though I’m not sure that will affect them much. CP3 haven’t been giving the Rockets the boost D’Antoni thought he would, and certainly not worthy of his crazy contract. The team recently set an NBA record for number of three-pointers made in a game against the Washington Wizards with 26 shots from beyond the arc.
The Thunder are looking good, currently sitting pretty at 2nd in the Western Conference after the Denver Nuggets. Paul George is having an absolutely fantastic season so far, averaging 26.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. Westbrook has been taking less (ish) shots and been more of a distributor, which has been nice to see. The team’s defense has been wonderful as well, and they’re averaging the most steals per game in the league.
Will the defense bite on Harden’s foul-drawing shot attempts? We’ll see.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
When: 5:30 PM (EST)
Where to watch: ABC
Who I think will win: 76ers
This is a great match-up. The teams battled it out in the conference semi-finals last season where Boston won 4-1. Ben Simmons struggled quite a bit during the series as the Celtics knew just how to defend him. The Sixers’ roster has changed since the last time these two teams met, with the massive addition of Jimmy Butler. Something the Sixers don’t have that Boston does have is shooting. They traded away Covington and Saric, which means the majority of their offense comes from Embiid, Simmons and Butler attacking the paint.
The Celtics’ offense hasn’t been particularly spectacular, but they’ve been doing well defensively. It’s strange – the team has been lackluster but has such incredible potential. Irving, Horford, and insane young talent like Brown and Tatum – the team should be looking a little better. Maybe they can turn it on for this Christmas Day showdown.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors
When: 8 PM (EST)
Where to watch: ABC/ESPN
Who I think will win: Warriors
This is a “marquee” game because LeBron James is involved, let’s be honest. This Laker team is looking much better than last season (hm, wonder why) and are currently 5th in the west. The team’s defense has improved greatly from their poor start to the season, which will be imperative in this game. The addition of Tyson Chandler was a great move for the team, bringing defensive prowess. Ball has also been showing defensive sparks, and of course, LeBron is LEBRON.
While the Warriors are only 3rd in the west (only), they’re still made up of the same players. I’m interested to see who Steve Kerr is going to have defend James – likely Green or Iguodala. This team just has so many offensive weapons, the Lakers have quite the defensive load.
We’re all just watching for LeBron.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz
When: 10:30 PM (EST)
Where to watch: ESPN
Who I think will win: Trail Blazers
The Jazz are struggling this season, especially Donovan Mitchell. After his stellar rookie year, he’s experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump. Mitchell is going to be the key to Utah’s long-term success. He’s obviously extremely talented, but needs some fine-tuning. He reminds me of Westbrook – energetic, explosive, and wanting to do it all. If he can learn to be a bit more cerebral when he has the ball, he can change the course of this team.
The Trail Blazers are the closest team I have to a “home” team (I’m waiting for the Seattle Sonics to come back, thankyousomuch) so I always enjoy watching them. Damian Lillard has been having a fantastic season so far, averaging 26.9 points per game with a 45% field-goal percentage and 40.2% 3-point percentage. He shoots a lot of threes, so that’s impressive. The team struggles defensively, which has contributed to their inconsistency. They’re a low-fouling team and aren’t very aggressive defensively. They’ll need to ramp it up with the explosive Mitchell, Gobert, and shooters like Ingles and Korver.
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