Euro 2020 Special

NBA Preview: Struggling East Teams Looking For a Turnaround

Slumping teams in the Eastern Conference will try to improve on their NBA record as we approach the midway part of the season.

The Pistons, Cavaliers, Nets, and Knicks will look for a way to turn things around as playoff spots are still up for grabs.

Meanwhile, some Western Conference teams have found their rhythm as of late. The Lakers, Grizzlies, and Timberwolves have been rolling and they would be keen on maintaining their momentum.

SBOTOP presents to you the preview of tomorrow’s games.


Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland Cavaliers

The Pistons and the Cavaliers have experienced some bad luck as losing has been becoming the norm. Both teams have lost four of their last five games, and it’s clearly taking a toll for both of these teams.

Kevin Love vented his frustration by reportedly yelling at Cavs GM Koby Altman and he has shown that emotion in their recent loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It didn’t help as well when rookie guard Kevin Porter Jr. suffered a knee sprain against Minnesota.

As for the Pistons, they have already considered blowing up the team given their roster was decimated by a myriad of injuries.

Blake Griffin has considered taking a season-ending surgery for his knee complaint. Markieff Morris, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard are still sitting out as well.

Andre Drummond became part of the hottest NBA 2020 news when his name was floated around in trade chatter. Rumour has it that the 26-year-old center is linked to a possible deal with the Atlanta Hawks.


Portland Trail Blazers @ Toronto Raptors

Portland are certainly desperate for a win, but they’ll have to face another team with a winning record as they visit Toronto tomorrow.

The Blazers have lost six out of their last seven as their opponents had their way in putting points up on the board. They could, however, make amends as they try to capitalise on the depleted Raptors lineup.

Pascal Siakam is currently suffering an injured groin while fellow big man Marc Gasol is sidelined due to a hamstring complaint. Fred VanVleet, who led the team with 29 points in their win against Brooklyn, is already ruled out for tomorrow.

The Terry Stotts-mentored squad, meanwhile, will be bringing back CJ McCollum – who missed their previous game due to a respiratory infection.


Oklahoma City Thunder @ Brooklyn Nets

The streaking Thunder will face the languishing Nets at the Barclays Center tomorrow.

OKC continue to be one of the league’s hottest teams since December as they finished with the best win-loss record for a Western Conference team at that time. They recently had an impressive five-game winning streak before it was snapped by the Sixers the other day.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues his fine form by leading the team in scoring with 19.9 points per game. He is accompanied by the backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder who have been tallying scoring norms of 16.3 and 18.5 points apiece.

Brooklyn, on the other hand, have lost six straight already. However, they’re still clinging to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with a 16-19 record.


Minnesota Timberwolves @ Memphis Grizzlies

Despite having a rough start of the season, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to win three straight for the second time this season as they clash with the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves.

Much of the home team’s success recently was because of their improving offence, as they’ve scored at least 110 points in 14 of their last 15 matches.

One of their most impressive wins recently was their blowout against the Clippers. Four players have scored more than 20 points in that game.

The Grizzlies will face a surging Timberwolves club that has won four of their last six.

Still without the services of Karl Anthony-Towns, Minnesota’s young turks continue to step up to the plate as they’ve gathered quality wins against the Kings, Nets, Warriors, and Cavaliers.


Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns

The Suns will look to sustain momentum as they host the Kings at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Phoenix recently snapped their eight-game losing streak and they are hopeful to keep it going as they try to sneak into the playoff race in the West. They currently have a 14-22 slate.

Below the Suns are the Kings who are holding a 13-23 record. Like Phoenix, Sacramento also endured an eight-game losing streak before grabbing much-needed wins against the Grizzlies and the Warriors.

Devin Booker is on fire as he scored at least 30 points in their last six contests. He is expected to continue to do so as he tries to make his first All-Star appearance.


 New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers' Alex Caruso is motivated to produce superb performance in the next NBA games
Los Angeles Lakers’ Alex Caruso goes up for a layup during an NBA game at the Staples Center

Despite being embroiled with trade rumours and coaching issues, the Knicks have somewhat improved over these last few weeks.

They recently held a three-game winning streak, including an impressive win over the Blazers, but they were sent crashing back to Earth as they lost back-to-back against the Suns and Clippers.

New York will play their second game at Staples Center as they try to beat Los Angeles, who are 20-0 against teams with losing records.

The Lakers have been playing superb the defencive end. In their game against Detroit, Los Angeles swatted 20 shots, making them the first team since the Raptors in 2001 to record such feat.

The trio of Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard lorded over the paint by getting eight, six, and five blocks respectively, while Avery Bradley had one himself.

LeBron James, meanwhile, continues to age like fine wine by being named as the Western Conference Player of the Week. He just notched his ninth triple-double of the season.




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