NBA Christmas Day Preview - Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers
The Brooklyn Nets will at the very least be well-rested if they can get their Christmas Day game against the Lakers played. Steve Nash's squad had Thursday's game with the Raptors canceled as both teams are ravaged by health and safety protocols.
The Lakers have no remorse for the Nets, as they are trying to work through an injury to Anthony Davis, who is out until sometime in January after hurting his left knee. Los Angeles had dropped three straight heading into Thursday's visit from the Spurs, and this featured matchup loses a lot of luster from when schedule makers drew it up in the offseason.
Who Goes for Brooklyn, If There's a Game?
Although we could see the schedule change before game time, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has announced that the league plans to go on with the Christmas Day schedule as planned. He also stated the Celtics at Bucks, Warriors at Suns, and Nets at Lakers are the priority games, which means Atlanta, New York, Dallas, or Utah could be used as fill-in teams.
Nash did announce on Thursday that James Harden, Paul Millsap, and Jevon Carter have all tested out of protocols and are ready for the Christmas Day game. Kevin Durant will likely not be available, leaving Brooklyn likely with the minimum eight players required to start a game.
Lakers Set to Christen New Stadium
L.A.'s matchup with the Spurs on Thursday night was their last in the Staples Center, the arena where 22 years of memorable events were tied to the historic venue. The stadium itself will stay in the same location, same locker rooms, etc., but Christmas Day will mark the first-ever Lakers game in the venue's new name, "Crypto.com Arena."
It's still unknown how big getting a win in the first game under their stadium's new name will motivate Lakers players, but this is a team just looking for victories as a whole.
L.A. is just 16-16 heading into the Spurs' meeting on Thursday and needs to get that record a little bit better on the plus side to quiet some of the talks of a Frank Vogel firing, Russell Westbrook trade, sending Lebron James back to Cleveland, etc.
Nets at Lakers Overview
Los Angeles is just a -1 point favorite against the Nets as the weekend approaches, but that number could change based on who is in and who is out for both teams. Getting Harden and Millsap definitely helps Brooklyn's chances, but they are going to have a tough time rounding out the rest of their rotation.
The Lakers still have James and Westbrook available for this matchup and recently welcomed Talen Horton-Tucker and Dwight Howard back from protocols. They have a veteran bench that features Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo, depth that the Nets simply cannot match right now.
Even Isaiah Thomas was recently signed by L.A., and he had 19 points in his debut last week against Minnesota.
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