NBA: Utah Jazz and Miami Heat lock horns, Phoenix Suns face Memphis Grizzlies
Things have been hotting up over the past few weeks in the Eastern and Western conferences. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been electric for the Milwaukee Bucks, while Atlanta Hawks’ miserable run continues. We will preview three games taking place this weekend, including a potentially explosive match between the Jazz and the Heat. Check out our thoughts below.
Phoenix Suns edge past Sacramento Kings to extend winning sequence
The Suns have the momentum with them. A 109-104 victory over the Kings earlier this week extended their winning run to five games. Chris Paul weighed in with 16 points, and the Suns look like a cohesive unit. Before they take on the Heat on Friday, the Suns face the Portland Trail Blazers, which won’t be a walkover.
Currently, the Suns will be more concerned with easing their injury worries. Dario Saric (knee) and Deandre Ayton (leg) will both sit out the Trail Blazers clash, and it remains to be seen whether they will be fit to face the Heat. The Suns will be keen for revenge after the Trail Blazers enjoyed a 134-105 blowout victory when these two sides met last month.
Memphis Grizzlies take advantage of Minnesota Timberwolves collapse to claim dramatic win
The clash between the Grizzlies and the Suns will be between the fourth and fifth-best sides in the Western Conference. And in an 82-game season, there will be many twists and turns. The Grizzlies showed remarkable powers of recovery, as they trailed by 13 points with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter before they won in overtime. Extraordinary stuff!
Miami Heat seek quick response after heavy defeat to Denver Nuggets
The Heat are currently top of the Eastern Conference with a 7-3 record, but there was some fallout from the 113-96 defeat to the Nuggets earlier this week. Markieff Morris was fined $50,000 for a foul 2 on Nikola Jokic, while Jimmy Butler was slapped with a $30,000 for escalating tensions on the court.
Have Miami Heat been overhyped this season?
While the Heat have excelled at times, have they been overhyped? Recent performances may suggest so, as they have lost twice in their past three NBA outings. The Jazz have a strong offence, and the Heat will need to excel in all areas of their game if they are going to get their campaign back on track.
Utah Jazz lock things down with thumping win over Atlanta Hawks
The Jazz were well worth a watch against the Hawks earlier this week, as they romped to a 110-98 victory. Donovan Mitchell was one of five players that racked up double digits, but the defence was locked in. Led by the Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, he managed to contain the Hawks to 18 points in the fourth quarter.
The Jazz also managed to keep Kevin Huerter and Trae Young scoreless in the first quarter. At the back, the Jazz have added more flair and panache. Their clash with the Heat has all the ingredients of a classic, and it could be quite tight to call. Either way, you won’t want to miss it!
Judging by the win over the Hawks, the Jazz have strength in depth. They will be no pushovers, and it’s just a case of syncing up the offensive and defensive departments of their game. Speaking after the win over the Hawks, Mitchell said: “We were able to execute down on the offensive end. That’s who we are, and we have to continue to do that.”
Cleveland Cavaliers hitting their stride ahead of Boston Celtics test
The Cavs appear to have the wind in their sails. A 126-109 victory over the New York Knicks earlier this week extended their winning run to four games, and they occupy fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Against the Knicks, Evan Mobley proved his worth, as he posted 26 points.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have been at the centre of some intriguing trade rumours. There had been suggestions that Jaylen Brown could be used in a swap deal involving Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. Of course, Simmons is a highly effective player, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Celtics take an interest. It will be fascinating to see how this story develops.
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