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NBA Preview: Welcome to the Second Half of the Season!

The NBA is currently on a short hiatus after the All-Star Weekend, which was capped off by an exciting matchup between Team LeBron and Team Giannis.

But few days from now, it is back to regular programming as multiple teams in the East look to improve their win-loss cards and their chances of making it to the postseason.

As we continue the 2019/20 season, allow SBOTOP to give you a quick preview on the upcoming games.

 

Milwaukee Bucks @ Detroit Pistons

The Bucks still hold the best record in the NBA at 46-8 and they will be keen on maintaining the status quo as they visit the rebuilding Pistons at the Little Caesars Arena.

Milwaukee’s All-Star players in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton will continue to lead the charge as they have been all season and they are on pace of notching the best net rating on the road in NBA history.

The Bucks lost last week in their match against the Pacers, so expect them to come out with a vengeance on Friday.

Detroit will be led by their youngsters in Christian Wood, Bruce Brown, and Svi Mykhailuk while Derrick Rose will man the point given that the team has bought out Reggie Jackson.

Jackson is expected to move on and sign with the Clippers according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

 

Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks

The Heat may have been invincible at home, but their road record needs some work if they would want to be considered one of the NBA’s elite. But they have a chance to improve on that as they’ll face the Hawks, who are only 9-17 at home.

Miami and Atlanta will lock horns for the final time this season, albeit fielding in some new-look lineups. The Heat have acquired the likes of Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill while the Hawks got their big man in Clint Capela during the trade deadline.

So far, the Heat have won against the Hawks in all of their three previous meetings and it’s expected that they’ll sweep their season series on Friday.

 

Brooklyn Nets @ Philadelphia Sixers

Playing at home has been a safe haven for the Sixers, and that may be what the doctor ordered given their chemistry problems as of late.

The Sixers will face the Nets at the Wells Fargo Center, where they are 25-2 so far this campaign. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will lead the charge for the home team by filling up the stat sheet and our daily dose of NBA 2020 highlights.

Brooklyn will be missing the services of Kyrie Irving once more as he re-aggravated his right shoulder injury, and only time will tell on when he’ll be back on the floor.

Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert will carry the offencive cudgels for the Nets while DeAndre Jordan will try his luck in stopping Joel Embiid at the post.

Houston Rockets reload their roster ahead of NBA clash against Golden State Warriors
James Harden celebrate Houston Rockets’ 121-111 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center

 

Charlotte Hornets @ Chicago Bulls

Two struggling teams in the East will clash as they try to sneak into the playoff picture of the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls and the Hornets are placed 10th and 11th respectively, just behind the Wizards and the eight-seeded Magic.

Their previous November matchup provided basketball fans a lot of thrill and drama. Chicago won via a comeback capped off by Zach LaVine’s late three-point bomb en route to his 49 markers. The Hornets, however, got their revenge by holding the Bulls to a season-low 73 points in their December match.

Chicago are currently on a six-game skid while the Hornets are on a two-game winning streak.

 

Memphis Grizzlies @ Sacramento Kings

Ja Morant and De’Aaron Fox are two of the top young point guards in the NBA, and they are slated to put on a show on Friday.

Morant looks to be the presumptive winner of the Rookie of the Year award since he has more than lived up to the hype. The Grizzlies exceeded expectations as they are currently holding the eighth spot in the tough Western Conference at 28-26. They have won eight of their last 10 games.

The Kings, on the other hand, have been struggling after building some momentum to start the year. After winning six of their last eight, Sacramento endured tough losses against Dallas and Milwaukee.

 

Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors

Two clubs who have personified small-ball over these past few years will face off again at the Chase Center on Friday.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook are expected to bring their A-game against Golden State, who pulled off a surprising win against them sans their stars last Christmas day.

Houston reloaded their roster by bringing in the likes of Robert Covington, Jeff Green, and Demarre Carroll over these past few weeks, but that meant sacrificing height in the interior with the departure of Clint Capela.

As for the Warriors, they’re still awaiting the return of Steph Curry while Klay Thompson is still undergoing rehab for his knee injury. Draymond Green and newcomer Andrew Wiggins will continue to carry the load on both ends of the floor.

 

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