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NBA Preview: Spurs Seek Revenge on Celtics, Euro Stars Set to Duel

Fresh off their shocking beatdown of the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks, the San Antonio Spurs now set their sights on taking down the East’s No. 2 team, the Boston Celtics. Boston claimed a blowout win in their first meeting against the Spurs, so San Antonio will be looking for some payback.

Meanwhile, there’s a big Western Conference clash as Nikola Jokic leads his Denver Nuggets into Dallas to face a red-hot Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. It’s a duel that SBOTOP NBA fans shouldn’t miss in what is another busy day of basketball action!

 

San Antonio Spurs @ Boston Celtics

The Spurs are sent shockwaves through the league after their blowout win over the Milwaukee Bucks. They got hot from beyond the arc as they hit a season-high 19 3-pointers, with Patty Mills alone accounting for six.

But the Spurs will have been awful on the road this season (4-11) and will face one of the best home teams in the league in the Celtics (14-2). Boston will be looking to bounce back after a surprising loss to the Wizards.

The latest NBA 2020 updates on Kemba Walker, who has missed the last three games due to the flu, say he’s questionable to play. But even without their All-Star point guard, they will like their chances of beating the Spurs. They demolished the Spurs by 20 in San Antonio in their first meeting of the season back in November.

 

Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers

The Heat have had their stumbles on the road recently. They’ve dropped their last two road games, suffering surprising blowout losses to the Wizards and Magic.

Snapping that skid won’t get any easier as they face the Pacers, who have been formidable at home this season (15-4). The Heat just barely beat Indiana in their first meeting this season a couple of weeks ago. But given their struggles on the road, they might not be so lucky this time around.

 

Toronto Raptors @ Charlotte Hornets

The injury-ravaged Raptors are struggling to get by at the moment. The defending champions are 3-5 in their last eight games, with Fred VanVleet the latest player to join their list of injury casualties that also includes Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Norman Powell.

But even with all those absentees, the NBA 2020 fans still have Nick Nurse’s squad favoured against the struggling Hornets, who are a mere 2-7 in their last nine games. Their backcourt of Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham continues to put up numbers, but they have not resulted in wins.

 

Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic

The Wizards have won two games in a row for just the second time this season, and they’ve beaten some top teams in the Nuggets and Celtics.

With All-Star guard Bradley Beal once again missing time, Ish Smith has suddenly stepped up to lead the Wizards. The veteran point guard has put up 59 points over those two wins while shooting well over 60 per cent.

They will now be out for revenge against the Magic, who went into Washington D.C. on New Year’s Day and beat the Wizards by 21 points.

 

Houston Rockets @ Atlanta Hawks

The Rockets are riding high at the moment after back-to-back impressive wins over the Nuggets and 76ers. Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela have both played well in support of superstar James Harden.

The Rockets haven’t been taking care of business on the road of late, though. They suffered a stunning defeat to the Warriors on Christmas Day and were then blown out by the Pelicans.

However, they will have a perfect opportunity to get things right again as they face the league-worst Hawks, who simply have no defence to speak of.

 

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic to take on Denver Nuggets in NBA Western Conference showdown at American Airlines Center
Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic in action during first half of match against Chicago Bulls at the American Airlines Travel Center

Denver Nuggets @ Dallas Mavericks

The Nuggets are finally set to end their five-game road trip. It’s been a bumpy trip thus far, as they’ve gone 2-2 with wins over the Pacers and Hawks and losses to the Rockets and Wizards.

Ending the road trip on a high will be a bit tricky as they take on Luka Doncic and the Mavs. Doncic has been on an absolute tear of late. He’s averaging 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 8.5 assists over his last four games and has racked up back-to-back triple-doubles.

But the Mavs have surprisingly had their problems at home this season, where they’re just 11-8. So as good as Doncic has been, the Nuggets have every chance of making this game close.

 

Chicago Bulls @ New Orleans Hornets

The Bulls have had a bad start to 2020. They’ve lost their first three games of the year and have dropped their last four overall, albeit while facing tough, playoff-calibre opposition. They will finally get to face a team closer to their own level as they visit the Pelicans.

However, New Orleans have turned a corner ever since their disastrous 13-game losing skid. They’ve gone 6-3 in their last nine games, with young stars Lonzo Ball (23.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists in his last four games) and Brandon Ingram (25 PPG this season) playing the best basketball of their young careers.

 

New York Knicks @ Utah Jazz

The Knicks’ four-game West  Coast road trip has not gone too well. They’ve lost the first three of the four, including two against the LA teams. Despite Anthony Davis suffering a nasty back injury and LeBron James dealing with an illness, they were still thumped by 30 by the Lakers last night.

Things won’t get easier as they now head to Salt Lake City to face the streaking Jazz, who have won six games in a row and have the best home record among all West teams (13-3).

Jordan Clarkson’s arrival has helped spark the Jazz’s recent win streak. The streaky guard is averaging 14 points and shooting 41 per cent on 3-pointers off the bench in his six games with the team.

 

Milwaukee Bucks @ Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have come across the Bucks at a bad time. Giannis Antetokounmpo and co. will no doubt be motivated to bounce back after suffering their worst regular-season loss under head coach Mike Budenholzer against the Spurs.

And the Warriors just don’t have the weapons to prevent that from happening. They’ve lost their last five games, with All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell missing the last four with a shoulder injury. It would be a major surprise if they keep this game within single digits.

 

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