25 Bold Predictions For The NBA Christmas Day Games
25 Bold Predictions For The NBA Christmas Day Games
The NBA owns Christmas. Well, okay, I guess there are a few other things that are more important on one of the biggest holidays of the year, but not much. The NBA has done a masterful job of associating their sport with Christmas trees and holiday hams, and this year we have five intriguing matchups to give us an excuse not to talk to our families.
The day’s slate opens with a rematch from last year’s playoff series between the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have struggled since Derrick Rose got injured again, and the Nets have been a huge disappointment this year. Despite all that, these teams don’t like each other, so this game should be fun to watch if you like defense and men posturing like they want to fight when they really don’t.
Next up will be the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks, which should be over by the third quarter after the Knicks fail to show up. Then, to cap off the first half of games, the Los Angeles Lakers will host the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. If you like big stars and intriguing teams, this one will be for you.
After a much-needed break the action will start again when the San Antonio Spurs take on the Houston Rockets before wrapping up with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. If dunks and three pointers are your thing, then staying up for the late-night game is a must.
Christmas is becoming the NBA’s day, much like the NFL claimed Thanksgiving years ago. It’s looking like a good bunch of games, and these are 25 bold predictions for what you will see.
25. Kevin Garnett Will Get A Technical
Future Hall-of-Fame forward Kevin Garnett is no stranger to getting T'ed up. It's always a good bet that he'll let his emotions get the better of him.
24. Nobody Will Watch The Spurs vs. Rockets Game
It’s the fourth game of the day, so already people will be getting a little full of basketball. Once the Spurs typically methodical game takes over this one will be a snooze-fest.
23. Stephen Curry Will Light Up Chris Paul
Stephen Curry is quickly becoming one of the best scorers in the league. Chris Paul can match him on the offensive end, but defensively he can’t stop Curry.
22. The Casual Fan Will Finally Learn Who Tom Thibodeau Is
Bull's head coach Tom Thibodeau has been one of the top coaches in the league for several years now, but his defense-first style has kept him from getting the recognition he deserves. A blowout win against the supposedly-better Nets will go a long way towards the average fan learning his name.
21. Tim Duncan Will School Dwight Howard
Tim Duncan is the best low-post player the league has seen in decades, and Dwight Howard is the biggest disappointment from a low-post player in decades. Duncan will remind the consistently underachieving Howard what it means to be great.
20. Paul Pierce Will Have His Best Game So Far This Season
It’s been a tough season for the veteran swingman, but big games always bring out the best in Paul Pierce.
19. Mike Woodson Will Coach His Last Game
The Knicks have been a huge disappointment so far this season. If they want to still be considered a contender, they will need to shake things up after the Thunder dismantle them.
18. Kevin Durant Will Notch A Triple-Double
Kevin Durant is one of the best all-around players in the league, and the Knicks won't have any answers for him or the Thunder.
17. The Los Angeles Lakers Will Give The Miami Heat All They Can Handle
The Lakers aren't the title contender they used to be and they won't actually beat the Heat, but they will give them a good run on Christmas.
16. The Clippers vs. Warriors Will Be The Best Game Of The Day
Zero defensive effort and tons of points from dunks and three-pointers? Count me in!
15. Gregg Popovich Will Actually Answer A Reporter's Question
Yeah, I know, this one probably won’t actually happen. But how funny would it be if Gregg Popovich just kept talking during his sideline interview so the reporter had to cut him off? That would easily be the best part of my day if it happened.
14. Dwyane Wade Has His Best Game Of The Year
Dwyane Wade’s best days are behind him. Age, injuries and his reckless style of play have left him unable to dominate like he could just a few years ago. But, like we’ll see all day long, great players can reach back in the tank and be great when the lights are the brightest.
13. Jason Kidd Gets Tossed
Things haven't been going well for first-year head coach Jason Kidd, and things won't get any easier for him on Christmas. His frustration is likely to boil over, and I'm guessing a lack of foul calls on the aggressive Chicago defenders will be what drives him over the edge.
12. James Harden Will Score More Than Anyone Else On The Day
The Spurs will concentrate on not letting Dwight Howard have any room to operate down low, leaving James Harden free to shoot threes and travel on his way to the rim.
11. There Will Be A Major Injury
Just kind of playing the odds here, plus the players will be playing exceptionally hard which could lead to a bad injury.
10. Neither The Bulls Nor The Nets Will Score Over 80 Points
The Bulls are great on defense but struggle to score. This game will be a must-watch for NBA defense nerds, but for the rest of the country it will be a boring warm up for the rest of the day’s action.
9. Someone Will Try To Punch Joakim Noah
Honestly, I'm legitimately surprised this doesn't happen every game.
8. Blake Griffin Posterizes Somone
Blake Griffin is usually good for at least one or two memorable dunks per year. So far, we haven’t seen any out of the high-flying forward, so he’s due.
7. Dwight Howard Costs His Team The Game With Missed Free Throws
Alright, that might not be a bold prediction, but it’s a likely one.
6. The Thunder Shut Down Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is one of the best offensive players in the NBA, but he is also one of the most consistent players at failing to show up in big games.
5. The Bulls Crush The Nets
The Bulls and Nets have been building quite a little rivalry the last year or so. Just like in the playoffs last year, the Chicago defense will shut down the Brooklyn offense.
4. Kobe Bryant Goes For More Than 30
Kobe Bryant has struggled since coming back from his Achilles injury, but he always finds a way to deliver when he knows the world is watching. Look for him to be a volume scorer in a good game against the Heat.
3. The Warriors Beat The Clippers
The Warriors were the feel-good story of the playoffs last year, but they’re still waiting for their signature win on a big stage. Beating the Clippers on Christmas Day will do just that.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder Remind Everyone They're Legitimate Title Contenders
Oklahoma City was the league's best chance to dethrone the Heat until Russell Westbrook got injured in the playoffs last year. This season, they've come out to a quietly hot start; look for them to make a statement against the Knicks.
1. LeBron James Scores Under 20... And Still Dominates
What makes LeBron James so great is that he can do so many things at a high level. He could score 20-plus, but in a tight game against the Lakers he'll go into facilitator mode to get the win.