The NBA does a good job of scheduling matchups for its Christmas Day slate that are not only competitive games between good teams, but also ones where there is a significant bit of drama attached.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers are expected to visit the Heat in Miami this Christmas, which (if we’re being honest) was to be completely expected. Now we have a report of another confirmed matchup, between two teams who definitely don’t like each other.
Clippers will playWarriors Christmas night. makes sense for NBA to schedule thembecause of playoff history and dislike for the other.
The Clippers beat the Warriors in seven games in the first round of the playoffs last season, but there was plenty of drama along the way. The teams had a confrontation in the tunnels of the arena after all was said and done, and Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson engaged in a public war of words throughout the series.
Additionally, the teams faced each other last Christmas at Oracle Arena, and Blake Griffin was ejected after getting whistled for his second technical of the game following a dust-up with Andrew Bogut.
The bottom line is that the NBA looks for intriguing and contentious story lines for its Christmas day matchups. Warriors-Clippers is exactly that, so it’s no surprise we’ll see this one on the slate for the second straight season.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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