|NBA Matchups, Odds, Analysis 12/22-12/25: Lakers @ Warriors
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NBA Matchups and Analysis December 22nd to December 25th, 2018 By: Christopher B. Watford for NoLuckNeeded.com
A couple of months in to the season and the NBA is still keeping us on our toes. The Denver Nuggets remain the top team in the West and the Rockets have managed to climb themselves up to the 7th seed. The Phoenix Suns have won four games in a row ever since a 90-year-old woman scolded Phoenix’s owner and said “he’s so tight, he squeaks when he walks.” With the never-ending drama and hilarity in the NBA, let’s take a look at some exciting matchups this holiday weekend.
Denver Nuggets (21-9) @ LA Clippers (17-13) 12/22/18
After they took the league by storm and held on to the first seed for a while, the Clippers have hit a little bit of a rough patch - losing four straight. They still have a team of lethal players and they are reminiscent of the Hawks during their 2015-2016 season. Tobias Harris is averaging 21.5 points and 8 rebounds this season and is a large part to their success.
Denver fans have been waiting patiently for years for their team to be dominant and their wishes have finally come true. With a 21-9 record, Nikola Jokic and co. have been dominant this entire season and continue to propel their team to success. Jokic is the first seven footer since Wilt Chamberlain to average 7 or more assists per game. Along with those seven assists, Jokic is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Nuggets are one of the best defensive teams in the league and the Clippers are in the midst of a losing streak. Before matching up with Denver, the Clips will take on the Mavericks, who also find themselves in the middle of a losing streak. Do the Clippers have what it takes to piece together a win against one of the hottest teams in the league? Watch this Saturday on ALT, FSPT, or NBA League Pass at 5:00 PM ET.
Will Lebron be crowned the king and MVP, again?
New Orleans Pelicans (15-17) @ Sacramento Kings (16-15) 12/23/18
One of the most electrifying teams in the league, the Kings have exploded out of nowhere this year. After New Orleans traded their young and promising player, Buddy Hield to the Kings in exchange for Demarcus Cousins, Hield has taken his game to an entirely different level. In his third year in the league Hield is averaging 20 points on 48/43/86 shooting splits. While the Kings have been dominant with explosive players such as Hield and Fox, the Pelicans have underperformed this season.
On paper, the Pelicans roster looks amazing. They have all of the right pieces that they need, but injuries and the lack of hustle to start games has ultimately lead to their slow start to the season. Starting point guard, Elfrid Payton has been injured the majority of this season and it’s been a huge blow to the Pelicans’ potential success. Having Payton play point with Jrue Holiday at shooting guard allows the Pelicans to space the floor and utilize their three point shooters.
There are a few key factors going in to this Sunday night matchup in order for the Pelicans to win. Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle were both out against the Bucks this Wednesday, but if they can go in to Sunday night’s game at one hundred percent, they have a serious chance to take this game.
The Kings also pose a great threat to win this game if they utilize their speed. Sacramento is the league leader in fast break points per game and that is one of the biggest weaknesses that New Orleans has. The Pelicans tend to start games off sloppy and turn the ball over too frequently and if the Kings can take advantage of that then they have a serious opportunity to take this game. Watch on FSNO, NSCA, or NBA League Pass this Sunday at 6:00 PM ET.
LA Lakers (18-13) @ Golden State Warriors (21-11) 12/25/18
LeBron James and Christmas games; name a more iconic duo. LeBron and the Golden State Warriors is almost as iconic. For seemingly the thousandth time, LeBron will be facing off against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers have had it kind of rough the past few games, most notably their loss against the Nets and Jarrett Allen’s block against LeBron.
LeBron has really started to rub off on the young players in LA. Lonzo has been throwing down tomahawk dunks that is nearly identical to Bron’s, and it’s not a bad thing at all. Even though he’s getting older, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at his stats. LeBron is averaging 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Going in to the season I was skeptical if the Lakers would make the playoffs and while there is still a lot of time left in the season, they seem to be here to stay.
Lonzo Ball has emerged as one of the best guard defenders in the league, but does he have what it takes to shut down Steph Curry, or at least attempt to slow him down? Watch the Warriors and the Lakers battle it out this Christmas on ESPN at 8:00 PM ET.
(Check NBA game odds and updates at Intertops Sports Betting)