New NBA season just started, and we have already seen some new faces, and some old and well-known stars. NBA Christmas Day is behind us so let’s go through last Saturday of 2020. Enjoy our NBA Game Previews for December 26th.
Atlanta Hawks @ Memphis Grizzlies
This is the first game of the night and if the morning shows how the day will be, this will be an amazing night. The clash of two teams guided by two players that are expected to be the future of the NBA league. Ja Morant in his sophomore year and Trae Young in his third season. With high BBIQ and amazing shooting skills and speed, these two, helped by other teammates, will guarantee you a game with a lot of points, mostly known as ‘run and gun’.
The main characteristic of these two teams is attacking potential and a lot of points every game they play. “To score a point more than the opponent” is a motto.
Regarding on game pace that is 102.8 (Grizzlies) or 103.0 (Hawks) it is clear that this game will be a joy for those who like the modern style of NBA games.
This is a second consecutive home game for the Memphis team which gave the team enough time to relax, unlike Atlanta, who traveled from home to Chicago and now to Memphis.
Odds are on the host side but basketball is unpredictable and everything is possible.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Charlotte Hornets
The first game of the season for OKC, because of a well-known scandal in Houston. This will be a game between two sides that are expected to tank this year. OKC’s rebuilding process is on. They are going to make an organization around new star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. So they are expected to lose some contests on purpose and the whole team will help SGA to pump up stat lines.
On the other hand, Michael Jordan’s project, the Hornets, tried to build a team around Kemba Walker but after a trade with the Celtics, they are rebuilding again. The potential new face of the franchise is the second Ball brother – LaMelo. His high BBIQ speaks a lot about how this rookie and his future. But he needs to work on his shooting.
Long story short, we don’t know what to expect from a game where both teams tend to lose. But we are sure about one thing; SGA will fill all stat lines, and LaMelo will take a lot of shots. The winner can’t be projected easily.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Detroit Pistons
We continue our NBA Game Previews with this Central Division encounter. The host is a team that used to be NBA champions three times, but the last time was in 2004. The visitors are NBA champions from 2016. So we can say that this game is the clash of champions, but the late ones. They are miles away from that form.
The Pistons have started rebuilding this season, and they don’t have playoff aspirations.
On the other hand, the headquarters of Cleveland hopes that their rebuilding process finally ended. They put all their hopes on young duo Sexton/Garland. Helped by the experience of ex All-Star player, Kevin Love, this tandem is expected to put the Cavaliers back in the postseason.
You can guess who the winner of this game will be, but don’t forget that everything is possible in love and sports.
Orlando Magic @ Washington Wizards
This is presumed to be a battle for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Orlando is the team that took place in the previous three playoffs, and the Wizards will try to take the final place playoff spot in the world’s most famous circus.
Powered up by All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, and having Bradley Beal in peak, Washington Wizards will give everything they can to enter the playoffs.
On the opposite, there is the Orlando team, with the same main players, who carried the franchise in past campaigns. You are very familiar with Nikola Vucevic, an All-Star center, and Aaron Gordon, the biggest loser in an NBA dunk contest, but a very good player with various ways to score a bucket.
This should be a tough game, with a lot of fouls and breaks, but the winner will be the team that scores one point more than the other.
Philadelphia 76ers @ New York Knicks
Every game at Maddison Square Garden is a spectacle of its own, but the New York Knicks are far away from the form they had when MSG was a real battlefield. A team combined of some good sophomore players, and some stars that never shined can surprise any opponent, but mostly they surprise themselves with a loss. Is it bad luck, a curse, or poor management, we can only guess, but one thing is sure, the New York Knicks are keeping up their place in the NBA sky, because of their legacy and their fans. If it was about their game, they would fall, a long time ago, like a shooting star.
Their rival for tonight is the organization that hopes to reach conference finals, at least. It looks like Philly never fully recovered from Kawhi’s buzzer-beater in game 7 two seasons ago. Their ambitions are the same, the roster is almost the same, but will the game be the same? You will know if you watch this duel.
Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls
The game between a sure participant of the Eastern Conference Playoffs and a fallen giant.
A team game of the Pacers is very unique in the league because when you take a look at the roster, you can see very familiar names, players with strong careers. Although there is no superstar on this side, they still managed to torture every club in the league. A team game, that’s a new attribute you can attach to Indiana Pacers.
For their opponent, the Pacers got one of the most famous basketball teams in the world, the Chicago Bulls, but that’s all they got now. The only thing that keeps this giant from drowning is Zach LaVine. Young guard in the peak, the go-to guy in Chicago’s gameplay. Everything starts with him and ends the same way.
We suppose that you can guess the winner but don’t be indifferent about the tilt. It will be exciting for sure.
Toronto Raptors @ San Antonio Spurs
This is the duel of strategy and system. The fight between tactics and hard work. You can call this game any way you want but one thing is clear, this won’t be a modern NBA game. Both teams put defense as their priority. Every player knows his role, and won’t do anything outside of the game plan.
The hosts are five-time NBA champions, and on the bench is a legend, Gregg Popovich. He is the man who keeps the record for a coach with most games with one team. He is a head coach for the Spurs for 24 years. And he still manages to adapt and lead the team in the right way, the winning way.
The visitors became champions two years ago, and never stopped after that. The leading role, which was in Kawhi Leonard’s hand, faded away, and the leading figure is now the whole team. Anyone can step up, and every player from the roster can effectively score, but more important is that every play can stop the opponent from scoring.
The low number of points is not characteristic of modern games, but don’t let that fool you. There will be much excitement in this game.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Utah Jazz
A title contender on its way to finals against potential 8th seed.
All due respect for a team from Minnesota, but they don’t stand a chance against regular playoff participants. Even though their roster is powered up by DLo and KAT, both of which are in their best years, Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz are in charge of this game. The quality is on the side of the hosts, experience too, and so as the odds.
Each statistical parameter, every analysis says that the winner is also the home side. However, the beauty of basketball lays in the fact that every underdog can surprise any time. Maybe tonight?
Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers
The first game of the season was postponed for Houston, because of the lack of responsibility of the main players. For this game, the Rockets will try to win a game without their new players, ex All-Stars, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, and, potentially, without the main player James Harden. The principal question of the night is, how will the Rockers manage to oppose such a good team without all those players?
One thing is sure, Dame Lillard and crew won’t have mercy. The Blazers are on the way to playoffs and want to prove the quality they have and the work they have invested.
This is the game where defense is an unknown term and the contest where the winner will surely have more three-point shots made. Who will it be, you’ll only know if you watch the clash.
Phoenix Suns @ Sacramento Kings
We conclude this NBA Game Previews article with a tilt in Sacramento. Two teams that recently ended the rebuilding process are opposing each other in a direct battle for Western Conference playoffs. A young core of both sides and pure ambition will make you watch modern basketball with a lot of points. Statistics says that the main weapon of both rivals is the three-point shot, but with the creativity of Chris Paul combined with talented young center Deandre Ayton on one side, and speed of DeAaron Fox combined with various options at forward and center positions such as Marvin Bagley III and Rachaun Holmes can assure you that we won’t watch a three-point shot contest. The winner is clear as the blurred image of last Saturday night, so enjoy the game!
Everyone likes different things about basketball. So, when you can choose this amount of games, you will surely be able to find something for yourself.
We hope you enjoyed our NBA Game Previews and that we helped you pick the game of your taste.