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NBA Week 45 Match Previews

Basket ball on a basket ball court

The 2019/2020 NBA season continues on Friday in what has so far been a competitive and intriguing season which has produced broken records, classic games, shocking results and impressive individual performances. We take a look at some of the games on Friday and what could be instore for excited NBA fans.

Charlotte Hornets VS. Boston Celtics

The Hornets host the Celtics at the Spectrum Center in a mouth-watering encounter which could prove crucial to both sides at this stage of the season. The Hornets sit in second spot in the Southeast division behind Miami Heat and are also currently 6th on the Eastern Conference table with a 4-3) record (4 wins, 3 losses so far this season ahead of their Game 8 clash which will see Kemba Walker take on his former team for the first time after his move to Boston during the off-season. He had been with the Hornets since 2010 until his departure. The Hornets began their season with a 126-125 victory over the Chicago Bulls but then lost their next 3 games to Minnesota Timberwolves (121-99), Los Angeles Lakers (120-101) and the Los Angeles Clippers (111-96). Since then they have won 3 games on the bounce with two of them coming on the road against the Sacramento Kings (118-111) and most notably against the struggling Golden State Warriors (93-87). Their last game was a 122-120 overtime (OT) victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 7. Point Guard Devonte Graham has been one of their outstanding players this after recording the highest points (17.3) and highest assists (6.7) in the team so far this season. Coach James Borrego will be hoping Graham continues his impressive recent performances on Friday.

Boston Celtics also come into this game as Leaders of the Eastern Conference after recording

5 victories and a single loss so far this season (5-1 record). Since losing their first game of the season 107-93 to Philadelphia 76ers, they have won 5 straight consecutive games with two of them coming against New York Knicks (104-102) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (119-113). The acquisition of Kemba Walker has been integral to their successes this season with Him and Gordon Hayward dominating in the points, rebounds and assists category in the team.

San Antonio Spurs VS. Oklahoma City Thunder

The San Antonio in their first season without Tony Parker currently sit in the 9th position in the Western Conference after winning 4 and losing 3 games (4-3). They welcome Oklahoma to the AT & T Center on the back of two consecutive defeats against LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers (96-103) and the Atlanta Hawks (100-108) despite beginning the season with 3 consecutive wins against the New York Knicks (120-111), Washington Wizards (124-122) and the Portland Trail Blazers (113-110). They will be looking to get their season back on track and will be relying on players like DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray and Trey Lyles to help the team secure the win against the Thunders.

Oklahoma City are also experiencing an indifferent season themselves so far. They lost their first 2 games of the season to Utah Jazz (100-95) and the Washington Wizards (97-85). They however recovered to claim their first win in Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors (120-92). They have also won their last 2 games with a 115-104 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans and a 102-94 win over Orlando Magic. These recent victories have propelled them to 5th on the Northwest division and 11th overall in the Western Conference. They boast of a 4-3 record (4 wins, 3 Losses) going into Game 8. Coach Billy Donovan will be counting on his two in-form players Steven Adams and Gilgeous-Alexander to secure a victory over Spurs. However, Oklahoma have lost all their 2 games on the road against Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets so far this season. As a result, Spurs will be confident of winning themselves.

Phoenix Suns VS. Miami Heat

The Suns go into this encounter with 5 wins and 2 losses which sees them sitting in second position in the Pacific Division and 4th overall in the Western Conference. They are also currently on a 3-game winning run after victories over Golden State Warriors (121-110), Memphis Grizzlies (114-105) and the Philadelphia 76ers (114-109). Devin Booker has recorded the highest points in 6 of their 7 games (26.1 points) and will be the player to watch in this game. Ricky Rubio also has the highest rebounds, assists and steals in the team. Phoenix will however be without the services of Ty Jerome who is injured and Deandre Ayton who is suspended.

Just like Phoenix, Miami Heat have also won 5 and lost 2 games so far this season. Both defeats came on the road. However, they sit in first place in the Southeast Division and 3rd overall in the Eastern Conference. This is their first season without Dwayne Wade following his retirement after last season. Their biggest win so far this season was a 129-100 triumph over Houston Rockets. However, they come into this game on the back of a 109-89 defeat to the Denver Nuggets and will be without KZ Okpala who is injured and Derrick Jones Jr. who is also a doubt for the game. Despite this, Coach Erik Spoelstra can still rely on Kendrick Nunn and Bam Adebayo who top the team’s stats for points, steals, rebounds, assists and blocks respectively.

All indications point to these games as potential thrillers and would be fascinating to watch from the fans’ perspective. Fans are surely going to be in for a treat.

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