Spurs, Warriors and Celtics all in action this Thursday
NBA continues from midnight
With the NBA season almost two months old, some familiar names can be found near the top of either Conference.
The Boston Celtics lead the Cleveland Cavaliers by a distance in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets top the Western Conference from the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
Those teams are the focus of this week’s preview as the Coral News Team look over the key match-ups on Thursday night.
Dallas Mavericks @ Boston Celtics
12:30 AM [UK Time] Thursday 7 December
The Boston Celtics have by far and away the best record in the Eastern Conference and the NBA as a whole. After 25 games, they’re 21 and four, with only two of those defeats coming on their home court.
That should make for a comfortable victory against what is statistically the competition’s worst team. The Mavericks have won just seven of their 24 games and have the worst record of any road team in the Western Conference.
Up against Kyrie Irving, who had a 32-point night against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, the visitors appear to have little chance. If they fail to stem his attacking advances while not addressing their own (the Mavericks are the third-worst scorers in the NBA) it could be a long night in Boston for the Mavs.
Golden State Warriors @ Charlotte Hornets
01:00 AM [UK Time] Thursday 7 December
The Warriors have won their last four games and smashed the 120 point mark each time. However, against a Hornets side that are eight and three at home, they may not get things all their own way.
It looks as though they’ll have to do without Stephen Curry, too. Their offensive leader picked up a sprained right ankle in Monday’s victory over the Pelicans and is a doubt for this one as a result.
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant will be available, though. The pair contributed 38 points as the Warriors came back from a 21-point deficit to condemn the Pelicans to a fourth defeat in five games earlier this weekend.
With the home team’s talisman doubtful due to injury, the Hornets could spring something of a shock at odds of 9/5 at the Spectrum Center.
Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs
01:30 AM [UK Time] Thursday 7 December
The Heat are well in the hunt for a playoff spot. But they’ll face a tough task against the Spurs on Thursday. The home team are 16 and eight for the season and boast an impressive record at the AT&T Centre. They’re 11 and two so far on their own patch.
However, the visitors are no slouches on the road. They’ve won half of their games away from the American Airlines Arena this season. Recent head-to-head form doesn’t body as well, though. The Heat will need to reverse an eight-game losing run against the Spurs if they’re to get anything out of this one.
And their chances could hinge on the performance of center, Bam Adebayo. The 6ft 10in ace has stepped up to the plate in the absence of Hassan Whiteside and shone in defeat against the Timberwolves last month.
He’ll have to be at his best once again if the Heat are to deny LaMarcus Aldridge and co. a seventh win in nine games. And against one of the best-rated defenses in the league, the road team will have their work cut out at the other end too.