Happy Holidays I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. There were five games yesterday and overall it was a decent day of basketball. There were some bad games and maybe the league can switch it up next season.
I know the Christmas day games are about big markets and big names but the fans deserve better games. The first game between the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards was a mismatch from the start.
The Knicks are horrible and we did not need to see them on Christmas, especially in the first game. It was great that John Wall was on National TV so a lot of fans got to see him play. New York is a big market and Carmelo Anthony is a big name. He put up 34 points but the Knicks have dropped six games in a row and have one more win than the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Wizards should have played the Atlanta Hawks or the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards and Raptors are up-and-coming teams with great point guards in John Wall and Kyle Lowry. More fans need to see them play.
The second game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs was great despite Kevin Durant not playing. Durant has missed the last four games after spraining his ankle against the Warriors.
The Spurs were still without Kawhi Leonard but they still had a chance to win the game. The game was tied at 93 in the fourth quarter before the Thunder went on a 9-0 run to keep the lead for good. Manu Ginobili did a great job setting up his teammates and had a season high 13 assists. Matt Bonner led the Spurs with 17 points off the bench.
The star of the game was Russell Westbrook, who finished with 34 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and five steals. He’s scored 30 points in eight of the sixteen games he’s played this season. He made plays all night long despite a sluggish start.
Everyone wanted to see the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Miami Heat in LeBron’s return to South Beach. The game did not disappoint as Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 31 points as he guided his Heat to a victory over his former teammate.
The crowd gave LeBron a standing ovation as he put up 30 points of his own in the loss. LeBron and Wade were seen laughing and talking many times throughout the game. If you want to know more about the game I wrote about it here.
The Chicago Bulls-Los Angeles Lakers game was close until the fourth quarter. The Lakers are a bad team and they should not have been on Christmas. Yea it was a good storyline of Kobe playing against Pau Gasol for the first time since he left LA but Kobe didn’t even play in the game. He was resting because of soreness.
We all knew the Lakers would be bad this season but they were on Christmas because of their market and Kobe Bryant. A matchup against the Rockets or Blazers would have been great for the Bulls.
James Harden and Derrick Rose would meet for the first time since winning a gold medal together in the World Championships. The Bulls already played the Blazers but a Damian Lillard-Derrick Rose matchup would be something to talk about.
The last game of the night was supposed to be a great matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers got off to a sluggish start, hitting their first shot than missing 16 shots in a row. Somehow they were able to keep the game close and were only down two points after the first quarter.
The Warriors could not capitalize on the Clippers slow start. Their offensive execution was poor and they could not find the range from long distance, shooting 6-28 for the game. The Warriors went into halftime with a one point lead.
The offense woke up for both teams in the third quarter as both teams scored over 25 points. In the fourth the Warriors went on a slump of their own missing 10 straight shots which allowed the Clippers to push the lead to 20 points. They would hold on to win by 14 points.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 3-15 from downtown. The Clippers shot 39% from the field but went 23-31 from the free throw line to get the victory. The Warriors only attempted 22 free throws.
Christmas day basketball was finally over. Some games lived up to the hype like the Cavs-Heat and the Thunder-Spurs while others were blowouts. Again I understand the big market but there are two Los Angeles teams but only one of them is any good.
I would rather see better games or a matchup of young rising stars. The games next season can be better and I expect better matchups.