MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM US HERE AT SIR CHARLES IN CHARGE!!!
With that being said, it’s Christmas and fans of the NBA know that the season is in full effect by this time of the year, and as fans, we get to unwrap high octane, star studded showdowns between the marquee teams in the league on this day. This year is no different and I hope everybody is looking forward to today’s games as much as I am.
Up first at 12 noon ET, the Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics. Boasting similar records coming into this divisional rivalry matchup. The Nets have cooled off a bit since their flaming hot start to the season but they’re still no slouch. They’re riding some hype surrounding their move to Brooklyn this year. All they want for Christmas is to prove they’re not all hype. That’s why I’m predicting they’ll beat Boston in a gritty, low scoring (high 80s – 90s), emotional “fight” for lack of a better word. Expect this game to get ugly.
Next up, at 3:00 pm ET, the resurgent New York Knicks travel to Los Angeles to battle the Los Angeles Lakers. This game is a tale of two tapes. The Knicks are playing lights out atop the Eastern Conference, with Carmelo Anthony stirring up MVP conversations and have won seven of their last 10 games. The Lakers have not had the same success. They entered this season carrying a lot of hype, with the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, but haven’t lived up to it yet. As a result, head coach Mike Brown was fired and replaced by Mike D’Antoni. Steve Nash, having only played in two games, will return for this big game against the Knicks. Looking back at the Miami Heat two seasons ago, it took them time to gel together before becoming the juggernaut they’ve since turned out to be. My prediction is this game is when the tides change and Los Angeles surges towards .500. This game will mark the beginning of the Lakers’ turnaround.
The game I’m most looking forward to is at 5:30 pm ET. The Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Miami Heat in an NBA Finals rematch. There were some questions surrounding the Thunder about whether or not they could replace James Harden’s productivity with the players they picked up from Houston in that massive preseason trade. Judging by their record, yes they could, and they’ve also added depth with players who have the potential to develop into quality rotation players. Miami has had some questionable losses such as to the Washington Wizards recently. I think the Thunder will be riding a wave of momentum, winning nine of their last 10, when they enter Miami and pull a victory out of their stockings.
At 8 pm ET, Christmas red will be in full effect as the Houston Rockets make their way to Chicago to challenge the Derrick Rose-less Bulls. James Harden, averaging a whopping 25 points per game, and Mr. Linsanity himself, Jeremy Lin, are the talk of the town in Houston. However, they can’t seem to win on the road (3-7). The Bulls, in the absence of their MVP point guard Derrick Rose, have managed to remain over .500 and hold down the fort at home (8-6). I don’t see that trend changing and Chicago will slow the game down and have the run n’ gun Rockets gassed en route to victory.
Tonight’s main event features a court redesign. That’s right, we’ll be right back in the Staples Center. The hardwood will have been stripped from the Lakers game earlier in the day and the Clippers will be suiting up for battle. The NBA’s hottest team, boasting a 13-game win streak, will welcome the challenge of the traveling Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have had their impressive moments, but I don’t see them as the team to stall the surging Clippers. Their Clippers are the dominant team in Los Angeles and look to remain that way. Expect Blake Griffin to deck the halls with lots of throwdowns. Hopefully, we’ll be treated to some JaVale McGee “highlights”. That’s all I truly want for Christmas.
My Christmas day picks: Nets, Lakers, Oklahoma City, Chicago, Clippers
What game are you looking forward to the most? Who are your picks?