NBA preview

NBA 25/12/2021: Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors collide, Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets

Christmas is nearly upon us, and Santa has a few treats in store for NBA fans. In this preview, we will look ahead to three monster clashes taking place this weekend. This includes the Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets. Check out how we see these games may unfold below.

Phoenix Suns enjoy blowout victory over the Charlotte Hornets

The Suns have been in scintillating form of late, enjoying three victories on the bounce. The blowout 137-106 win over the Hornets last weekend will have given them a spring in their step, especially with the busy run of games coming. It was also a welcome sight to see Devin Booker return to the fold after missing the past seven games with a hamstring strain.

The Suns’ record without Booker was 5-2, and they have now improved to 24-5 for the campaign, and they are top of the Western Conference. Booker produced a splendid display, and going into the win over the Hornets, he averaged 23.5 points per game, while his shooting was at a career-high of 40% from 3-point range.

Cam Johnson is starting to flourish for Phoenix Suns

While Booker was sidelined through injury, Cam Johnson stepped up to the mark. And Johnson has been one of the most improved players on the Suns’ roster. Johnson averages just shy of 15 points when coming off the bench, and he has been at 45.8% from three-point range. He has also been in double figures in eight games on the bounce, so kudos to Johnson!

Steph Curry flurry helps Golden State Warriors glide past Sacramento Kings

When you have Steph Curry in your ranks, anything is possible. Although the Kings were poor for large parts, the Warriors kept up their levels. Curry led the way for the Warriors with 30 points, scoring 15 in the fourth quarter, after struggling from long range in the early stages. Draymond Green also came alive, contributing a triple-double by the end of the third quarter.

Milwaukee Bucks have lessons to learn from Cleveland Cavaliers defeat

The Bucks will have been reeling from their defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers last weekend. Unfortunately, the Bucks were on the receiving end of a 119-90 defeat to the Cavs. But one of the biggest takeaways, or at least positives, is that rookie Sandro Mamukelashvili has the ingredients to be a big star for the Bucks. He contributed 17 points, shooting 6-of-13 from the floor.

Boston Celtics on receiving end of Joel Embiid masterclass

The Celtics’ 108-103 defeat to the Philadelphia 76ers may sound quite close. But for the most part, it wasn’t. Joel Embiid drained some big buckets, and he produced a monster performance as he weighed in with 41 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. But Embiid also had some help from the likes of Seth Curry.

It was clear to see the impact that Curry had. He contributed 26 points from 10-on-14 with his shooting, and he provided seven assists. The Celtics were definitely below par, and there will be no hiding point when they face the Bucks. As things stand, the Bucks are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 19-13 record.

Meanwhile, the Bucks could carry out a few trade deals before the deadline. The window is likely to involve three players — George Hill, Rodney Hood, and Semi Ojeleye. All of these players are on megabucks, and getting rid of them would certainly help clear some space on the books. However, it is unknown where these players might go.

Los Angeles Lakers eager to bounce back after Chicago Bulls reverse

At times, it has been rather head-scratching to watch the Lakers. A 115-110 defeat to the Chicago Bulls earlier this week presented more questions than answers. What was perhaps most surprising, was the lack of effort on the Lakers’ part. Their record stands at 16-15, but at this time, they don’t look like serious championship contenders.

The Brooklyn Nets, meanwhile, will be confident ahead of a road trip to the Lakers. Currently, the Nets are at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 21-9 record. The only concern is when Kyrie Irving will return to action. He recently tested positive for COVID, and he is unvaccinated. However, it remains to be seen what games he will be available for.

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