Christmas is a time of giving and enjoying time with family, so what better way to do so than watching NBA basketball. This is a day where all of the big name players are slated to face off and a number of great games and performances have occurred on Christmas. Here are some previews and picks for you.
Game 1: New Orleans Pelicans @ Miami Heat
- This is a good game to kickoff with. These two have played some good games in the past, despite being in opposite conferences. The big name obviously are Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Anthony Davis, but look for the other players to make an impact as well. I like the matchup between Luol Deng and Tyreke Evans and then the one between Hassan Whiteside and Omer Asik. If Dragic can play, he will try to push the tempo, but when the 4th quarter comes around, the ball will go to D-Wade. I pick the Heat at home.
Game 2: Chicago Bulls @ Oklahoma City Thunder
- A potentially high-scoring affair between the explosive Thunder and the surprisingly offensive Bulls. Westbrook and Rose will be a good battle, as will Butler and Durant. This game will be up-and-down throughout and could get into the 100’s easily. My pick will be the Thunder in a close one. Durant and Westbrook will probably put in monster games as always. I think Noah being out will hurt the Bulls, so Enes Kanter may be effective coming off the bench for OKC.
Game 3: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Golden State Warriors
- Arguably the most intriguing game on the slate. A rematch of last year’s finals that should have plenty of beef and great matchups from point guard to center. Don’t be surprised if there a few technicals handed out. Steph/Kyrie, Love/Green, Shumpert/Klay?! Should be quite a contest. I’ll go out on a whim and pick the Cavs in a close one. Picking the favorite is too boring. I think the center matchup between Bogut and Mozgov will be important. Both teams will go small, so these two need to be effective when they are in the game.
Game 4: San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets
- On paper, this is a great game. It has great matchups, big names, and the flair that goes with a Texas-sized rivalry. My only concern is Houston’s lack of defensive focus, which will make the Spurs’ eyes light up. On the other hand, the Rockets can put up points in bunches as well. We will see one of the best offenses going up against one of the best defenses. My pick is the Spurs coming out on top. I think that LaMarcus Aldridge has an advantage at power forward over Terrence Jones and Danny Green will test Harden on defense.
Game 5: Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers
- Technically a home game for the Clips, but either way, they have the upper hand in this. The Lakers just don’t have enough experience to hang with CP3 and the boys. But you never know, the bright lights and big stage may set that stage for a big time Kobe performance (which I am hoping for). I’ll play boring conservative here and pick the Clippers, but in a tight one. However, if it’s a close game, keep your eyes on #24 in the purple & gold.