The reigning champions, LA Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks in what has been anointed by many to be the headline matchup of NBA Christmas Day 2020. A game between the King, LeBron James and the future face of the league, Luka Doncic is a blockbuster matchup that can't be missed by fans of the NBA.
Fixture: Dallas Mavericks vs LA Lakers - NBA Regular Season Game
Date & Time: Friday, December 25th, 2020 - 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, December 26th, 2020 - 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
The Dallas Mavericks looked rusty in their first game, as did the LA Lakers. It is pertinent to note that both teams had key players either playing low minutes or missing out entirely. Nonetheless, these franchises will go into Christmas Day hungry for their first win of the 2020-21 season.
Dallas Mavericks Preview
The Dallas Mavericks will miss the departed Seth Curry, especially during games like this one where they need all the shot creation they can get. That said, the likes of Dorian Finney-Smith and Trey Burke have shown the ability to be elite second unit scorers. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber can also provide a scoring punch for the Mavs offense.
This could be a tough one for the Dallas Mavericks, but is certainly a winnable game, given the LA Lakers' extremely short offseason.
In terms of injuries, Kristaps Porzingis (knee) is still recovering and is not expected to feature in this match.
Key Player - Luka Doncic
In just his third season in the NBA, Luka Doncic is expected to be the frontrunner for the MVP award after his enormous leap last year.
The 21-year-old is arguably already a superstar in the league. In the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Doncic put up some amazing performances. As a result, the Mavericks gave the LA Clippers a scare despite the absence of Doncic's co-star Kristaps Porzingis.
The Dallas Mavericks superstar holds himself to a high standard and will likely come out guns blazing against the LA Lakers. Doncic will also look to bounce back from his lackluster performance against the Phoenix Suns in the season opener.
Dallas Mavericks Predicted Lineup
G Luka Doncic, G Dorian Finney-Smith, F Tim Hardaway Jr., F Maxi Kleber, C Dwight Powell
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers were perhaps a bit too relaxed during their first game of the 2020-21 regular season. While their inside defense was passable, their effort on the perimeter and offensive quality were severely missing and allowed the LA Clippers to steal the win.
But, given the character of the roster, this could serve as a form of motivation as they head into their game against the Dallas Mavericks. Fans will expect the likes of Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder to step up.
The LA Lakers have no injuries to worry about at the moment. LeBron James (ankle) had reportedly been doubtful early on, but insiders now report that he will likely feature against the Dallas Mavericks.
Key Player - LeBron James
LeBron James may play relatively fewer minutes in several regular season games this season to preserve his health. But this matchup isn't likely to be one of his shortened outings.
The 35-year-old has revealed his admiration for Luka Doncic many times and, as per reports, is looking forward to playing against the Slovenian on Christmas Day.
One of LeBron James' best regular season performances in the 2019-20 NBA campaign came against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. We can expect the King to come out firing on all cylinders against the young superstar.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
G LeBron James, G Dennis Schroder, F Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F Anthony Davis, C Marc Gasol
LA Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks Match Prediction
Calling this game tough to predict would be an understatement. But while the LA Lakers will be coming into this game with their whole roster healthy, the Dallas Mavericks will be missing one of their most important players in Kristaps Porzingis.
This will probably be a tight and closely-fought encounter but we expect the LA Lakers to overcome the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day.
Where to watch Dallas Mavericks vs LA Lakers?
In USA, the game will be nationally broadcasted on ESPN. International fans can stream the game live on NBA League Pass.
Published 24 Dec 2020, 22:29 IST