Finally, Christmastime is here, and with it comes the joy of opening those presents that have been staying under your tree. Don’t forget that some of those gifts will be the Christmas Day games taking place next weekend.
Here are some of the clashes that are worth watching during the 10th week (Dec. 19 to 25) of the NBA season.
Dec. 23: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Coach Doc Rivers, of the Sixers, is easily one of the most interesting characters in the NBA. There is something about his insights and way of coaching that make people listen to him. Whether he wins or loses this game against the Clippers, you can bet on him to say something unexpected. Another tidbit to take note of is that he will be coaching against his former team, which will make his post-game interview a little bit more intriguing.
Dec. 23: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets
Who can forget the last several seconds of these teams’ last game against each other? Blazers point guard Damian Lillard hit a clutch three-pointer and was so confident in the upcoming victory that he did one of his patented celebrations. Lillard repeatedly tapped on his wrist to signal “Dame Time” mode. Too bad that Denver’s Jamal Murray hit the real game-winning shot before the game ended.
Dec. 19, 22, and 23: Let the Pelicans Fly
The New Orleans Pelicans have three games this week, with their clash against the Milwaukee Bucks being the only real challenge. If they somehow beat the Bucks, winning those two games against the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder will give them a perfect week. This perfect scenario might catapult them back to that No. 1 spot in the Western Conference.
Dec. 19: Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
What will the scenes be like when Donovan Mitchell meets the staff and players of his former team? At age 21, Mitchell cemented himself as the most indispensable member of the Utah Jazz. He scored with enviable ease, which was a great surprise for the fans. Unfortunately, he became a trade asset after five seasons and is currently doing all of his scoring (almost 30 points per game) for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dec. 25: Christmas Games
Let us start with the biggest and most-asked question for the entire week: will Santa Claus give the gift of “fast healing” to the recently-injured Stephen Curry? Hoop fans could really use Curry’s availability when the Golden State Warriors face the Memphis Grizzlies. A Ja Morant-versus-Curry showdown would have been a nice, big, and wonderful present to unwrap.
There are four more “gifts” to choose from in case Warriors-Grizzlies loses its appeal. There’s a “LeBron James versus Luka Doncic” matchup to see who gets a triple-double first. There’s a “Joel Embiid versus Julius Randle” war that will showcase frontcourt scoring. The other two games left, Milwaukee Bucks versus Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns versus Denver Nuggets, will feature playoff-bound teams meeting for the first time this season.
Follow Joey Almendras on Twitter @Buyaw
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