Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!
With Christmas nigh upon us, the NBA is gearing up for one of its biggest days of the year. Lets just hope that there are no major stars resting for load management!
11:00am – Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors (ESPN)
1:30pm – Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers (ABC)
4:00pm – Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors (ABC)
7:00pm – Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers (ABC)
9:30pm – New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets (ESPN)
**All game in Eastern time**
Celtics vs Raptors
Starting at 11am, the Boston Celtics take on the reigning champions in the Toronto Raptors, in what will turn out to be one of the most competitive matchups all day. Kemba, Tatum and Brown have been on an absolute tear to start the year, and the Raptors have managed to navigate the first quarter of the season without Kawhi in an incredible fashion. Despite a stellar appearance in the 2019 NBA Finals, people still don’t talk about Pascal Siakim as the super start that he is becoming and this will be a great time to check out his impeccable game.
Bucks vs 76ers
Following the Celtics/Raptors matchup, the Milwaukee Bucks will play the Philadelphia 76ers in what could be a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview. On one side of the ball, the Bucks have the best player in the WORLD in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he is currently playing on another level. The 76ers have the largest lineup in basketball, and have a 22-10 record to start the year. This will be a great matchup for both teams.
Rockets vs Warriors
This matchup was much more exciting when it was planned, versus how it has shaken out. The Rockets are playing pretty much the same run and gun game that they’ve been playing for the past few years, however the Warriors are in a much different spot than they’ve been in over the past 5 or so years. James Harden and Russell Westbrook have lead the team to a 21-9 start, even though Westbrook seems to be a clear downgrade from Chris Paul. The Warriors, in the past few months have seen Kevin Durant leave for Brooklyn, Klay Thompson go down with a torn ACL and a Steph Curry broken hand. It has been a tough go for the Warriors, having won only 7 games on the year.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers
In perhaps the biggest matchup of the season, the Lebron James-led Lakers will take on Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Lakers, who are off to an electric start at 24-6, are already being talked about as if they’ve won the Western Conference, but not if Paul George has anything to do with it. These two teams have faced each other once in the regular season, a 112-102 route by the Clippers, who match up seemingly well with this Lakers roster. Anthony Davis and Lebron James have been backed up by a strong supporting cast in Dwight Howard, Danny Green and JaVale McGee. This matchup will be can’t miss basketball.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Denver Nuggets
This is another game that looked better on paper at the beginning of the year than it does now. The Pelicans have struggled mightily with rookie Zion Williamson having been out for the entire season, and having recently been cleared for “light basketball activity”. The Nuggets, however, are 21-8, even with a slower start from Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets have only lost a handful of primetime games, which gives them the feel of not being as good as expected, which is incorrect, to say the least. While this may not be the best matchup, specifically, the Nuggets are a fun-to-watch basketball team.
Don’t forget to check out the post game podcast episode of On The Break that will drop on Thursday for a review of all of these games!