Who Wins? Who Loses? Christmas Day Games Preview and Predictions
Christmas Day is almost here and as basketball tradition goes, the 25th of December is swamped with marque matchups – minus a game including the Toronto Raptors.
Our job today is to set the stage for what will definitely be a wonderful and exciting day of basketball. Five games will take center stage as some of the league’s best rivalries shall be revisited. It all begins when the New York Knicks take on the Philadelphia 76ers on a day headlined by a Finals rematch!
Five games! Who Wins? Who Loses? Here is your breakdown!
Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks (-2.5)
The Philadelphia 76ers have won only one game since trading their franchise cornerstone Jahlil Okafor.
Looking destined for a playoff spot in the first month of the season, the Sixers have struggled over their past 10-games. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks have been a bit of a revelation this season and sit two games above the .500 mark. Kristaps Porzingis has been playing at an All-Star level and Michael Beasley seems to have found his game in New York.
Neither team is a contender by any means, but while the Sixers are still very young and struggle, especially when it comes to closing out games, the Knicks have shown that they are a far better team without Carmelo Anthony. The ball is moving more, the chemistry is working and the Knicks will win the first game on Christmas Day.
Winner: Knicks (-2.5)
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors (-5.0)
An NBA Finals rematch on Christmas Day.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers seek revenge in a matchup which will not include a star point guard on either side of the court. The Warriors remain the best team in the entire game and it is games like these that bring out the best in Golden State, a team that is otherwise coasting through the season, waiting for the commencement of the playoffs.
After a rough start to the season, the Cavs have tightened their rotation and have found their groove again. Unfortunately, without the presence of Isaiah Thomas, the Cavaliers may not have enough playmakers or firepower to counter the offensive juggernaut that is the Warriors. Being on the road doesn’t help the Cavaliers much either.
Take the Warriors, and take the points!
Winner: Warriors (-5.0)
Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics (-4.5)
In a day of rematches, the Boston Celtics will take on the team they eliminated in Game 7 of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
After a brilliant start to their season, the Celtics have cooled off and despite Kyrie Irving’s MVP-like efforts, Boston is very noticeable missing their All-Star forward Gordon Hayward. On the other end, the Washington Wizards come into game winners of six of their last 10-games and a healthy John Wall is back in the fold. The Wiz are also very quietly beginning to climb up the Eastern Conference playoff ladder.
The Wizards are hungry and this may have ‘trap game’ written all over it. It’s been quite some time since one of these has beaten the other on the road. Tomorrow, the road team will finally break through as the Wizards steal this one on Christmas.
Winner: Wizards (+4.5)
Houston Rockets (-3.0) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Let’s be very blunt.
The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t a bad team, but they have been far worse than most people could have ever imagined. Anthony has not integrated well into the team’s offensive schemes, Russell Westbrook is still trying to do far too much, and on too many occasions, Paul George seems to be the forgotten man. Of course on a team like this, there will be growing pains, and over the past 10-games, it does seem like the Thunder are starting to figure things out.
But starting to figure things out is not what can beat an excellent Houston Rockets team, with or without Chris Paul. James Harden has been out of this world and the Rockets have been excellent at both ends of the floor. They are in the top ten in both offensive and defensive rating and with a spread of -3.0 on the game, it’s very likely that the Rockets can come away with the points!
Winner: Rockets (-3.0)
Minnesota Timberwolves (-4.0) vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The young kids aren’t that bad!
Kyle Kuzma has been nothing short of incredible for the Lakers, while Lonzo Ball has started looking more and more like a bonafide second overall pick. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they are no where near the level the Wolves are on, simply because they are ready to win now, or at least that is their intention. The Lakers are in the rebuilding and development stage where the main focus is for their young talent to grow and mature.
Brook Lopez will also be held out the game due to an injury. The Lakers have shown glimpses of promise all year, but this is the Wolves’ game to lose.
Winner: Timberwolves (-4.0)