It’s going to be a long, slow week next week. That’s how it usually is when you’re waiting for Christmas Day. Impatient fans will have some waiting to do before the much anticipated NBA Christmas games arrive. Meanwhile, we have no choice but to focus our attention on the ninth week of the NBA. You can bet there’ll be several games out there just waiting to thrill us. Here are just some of them.
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Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors will be in Madison Square Garden. The atmosphere inside the arena will be something else. Ecstatic, joyous, deafening – all of these will be felt by the crowd. It’s a win-win situation for New Yorkers. If the New York Knicks win, they’ll celebrate. If they lose, they’ll probably witness in person a magical performance by Curry. Curry, knowing he’ll be playing in a big city, will want to put on a show.
Jason Kidd and Jared Dudley, who are members of the Dallas Mavericks coaching staff, used to be a part of the Los Angeles Lakers organization. When these two teams meet for the first time this season, it will be a reunion for sure but Kidd and Dudley will be on the opposite side of the court. Can Kidd rely on his inside knowledge about the Lakers and use it to his advantage?
Cade Cunningham versus Jalen Green will be the talk of the town when the Houston Rockets travel to Michigan to face the Detroit Pistons. The top two picks in the most recent NBA Draft will be the number one story to follow if Green is available to play. If Green can’t play as he recovers from an injury, there’ll be another story to watch out for in this game. The Pistons, who can’t seem to win their home games, will face a visiting Rockets team that is struggling to win road games.
December 19: Early Game
The Chicago Bulls and Lakers matchup is all about the connections and a little bit of revenge. You have Anthony Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker, who grew up in Chicago, returning back to their hometown. On the other side, you have ‘born in L.A.’ players like DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball who are now members of the Bulls. Can the Lakers win this time? We all know they lost to the Bulls when they played in Staples Center last month.
December 19: Late Game
If you want to see a top ten offense go against another top ten offense, then pay attention to the Phoenix Suns vs. Charlotte Hornets game. Seeing Chris Paul lead a team is always fun to watch. LaMelo Ball (health protocol) could miss this game but watching the scoring prowess of Miles Bridges and checking if James Bouknight will add to his collection of dunk highlights could be worth watching. Another thing to take note of is Cody Martin who has stepped up his game ever since his playing time increased.
Expect the Unexpected
The last several days gave us a lot of ‘where did that come from?’ moments. The Memphis Grizzlies beating the Lakers in a game where Ja Morant did not play was certainly surprising. The Rockets ending their 15-game losing streak by winning seven in a row made us scratch our heads. There’ll be more of these unexpected moments as the NBA season unfolds and we’ll be here for all of it.
Follow Joey Almendras on Twitter @Buyaw
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