Every year it’s a major event on the NBA calendar: Christmas Day. And even if COVID has disrupted the proper functioning of the season in this month of December, we will still try to make the most of the five posters offered by Santa Claus. Come on, preview!
Madison Square Garden at Christmas, there’s no better environment for a basketball game. Even if we must admit that at the aperitif level, we have known better. It should have been a real remake of the last playoffs, with one Trae Young greeted as public enemy number one. Finally, we end up with two negative teams (14-18 for the Knicks, 15-16 for the Hawks) and an Ice Trae on the sidelines because of the COVID protocol (along with Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams and Kevin Huerter , among others). In short, not great. But maybe it will be the occasion for a no-name to know the night of his life and it will make a great story to tell in a few years. No one is ready for the Skylar Mays career-high.
After the aperitif, seat at the entrance and you should like it. Especially with Giannis Antetokounmpo probably back, he who has just come out of the health protocol .. In addition, the Bucks will also be able to count on a Jrue Holiday in full flurry, a Khris Middleton also in form and a Donte DiVincenzo who will play his first game this season. Opposite, the Celtics must hold the new record for the number of players in the health protocol (12 …) but fortunately, the Jay Brothers are well operational: Jayson Tatum like Jaylen Brown will indeed be on the floor of Milwaukee, while Al Horford (health & safety protocols) is officially considered questionable. So there are a lot of people, so there is a way to have a good little basketball game.
The main course of the evening, there it is. Phoenix versus Golden State, the Suns of Chris Paul and Devin Booker versus the Warriors of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, the best record in the NBA versus the second best record in the League. Are you hyped? For once, we have an almost complete team (only Frank Kaminsky, Abdel Nader and Dario Saric are out) since the Suns have recently recovered Book, while opposite the main players are also there with Steph and Dray. The Warriors will have to do without Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins (as well as Damion Lee, Moses Moody and potentially Andre Iguodala), however, which risks hurting the Suns’ collective machine. However, we rely on the depth of Dubs to compete with Phoenix. And then hey, Curry is rather in good shape, he who remains on two games at 30 points and an explosion at 46 pawns …
Make way for cheese, which was supposed to be the best part of the meal but is likely to have a weird aftertaste. Remember when Lakers – Nets represented an XXL shock in the eyes of NBA fans? Let’s say that things have changed a bit since then, for several reasons. The LeBron James gang is having a tough start to the season, between lack of automation, injuries (Anthony Davis is out for tonight, editor’s note), health protocols and cardboard results. The Lakers are now negative after four straight losses and are now counting on… Darren Collison to give them some support in this rough patch. Net side? It’s a slaughter and the leader of the East will land at Staples Center with a C team. No Kevin Durant, still no Kyrie Irving, and to that must be added other absent (Joe Harris injured, LaMarcus Aldridge and Cam Thomas in the protocol…). The good news is that James Harden will be making his comeback after ten days of absence, enough to give us an MVP-caliber match knowing he will have the keys to the truck?
We will end the night with a Jazz – Mavericks for dessert. Jazz is pretty heavy, we’re talking about a pure basketball team that is capable of playing like few NBA teams today. In addition, coach Quin Snyder has his entire armada at his disposal: Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson … which may well be tense for a Dallas team deprived of Luka Doncic . No, the Slovenian did not come home to eat the log, he is in the health protocol of the NBA like so many other players now, including his friend Tim Hardaway Jr .. And as if that was not enough, Kristaps Porzingis is also uncertain due to a sore toe. Who’s hot for the Jalen Brunson – Boban Marjanovic duo festival?
Five games on the program, it starts at 6 p.m. and it will end around 7 a.m. We know it’s not Christmas Day we dreamed of but the Christmas Marathon is once a year, so don’t forget to enjoy it anyway.
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