With the season less than a week away, the NBA scrimmages have heated up. With players now falling back into their rhythm, we are getting to see some competitive basketball games.
The scrimmages have given players and coaches the opportunity to run different plays, while analyzing opponents that could be potential playoff match-ups in the coming few months.
There will be five NBA scrimmages today in the bubble in Orlando, Florida.
Houston Rockets take on the Memphis Grizzlies in today's marquee clash
The Houston Rockets, powered by the return of Russell Westbrook, will hope to turn things around against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Rockets suffered a 83-94 at the hands of the defending champions, the Toronto Raptors on Friday. The Grizzlies were also handed a 90-83 defeat against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
The Rockets, with their experience and superstar power, are definitely favorites in this match-up. The result however, depends on the number of minutes Harden and Westbrook are allotted by coach D'Antoni.
Since these games are being used to get players in game shape, coach D'Antoni may choose not to overexert the stars before the season restarts. The Rockets take on the Grizzlies at 8 PM E.T. in tonight's marquee NBA scrimmage.
Philadelphia 76ers will take on dark horses Oklahoma City Thunder
With Ben Simmons as power forward, the Philadelphia 76ers looked extremely dangerous. They beat the Memphis Grizzlies handily with each player enjoying a fair share of points. The Thunder, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Steven Adams, were absolutely dominant against the Boston Celtics in their previous scrimmage.
With Steven Adams and Chris Paul leading the way, this young team has much to show off in these exhibition games. The Philadelphia 76ers seem to have figured out their team chemistry issues, and it will be interesting to see how the 76ers perform against the Thunder with this new offensive system. Both teams will be looking to send out a message to the rest of the league.
The 76ers, with a well-rounded team, have the edge in this match-up but there is no ruling out the Thunder, who have the ability to pull magical victories out of the hat. The Philadelphia 76ers take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 12 PM E.T.
Other NBA scrimmages today
It's the Luka Doncic show as the Mavericks take on the Indiana Pacers at 4 PM E.T. With Seth Curry leading the shooting and Luka Doncic being a monster offensively, the Mavericks have a clear advantage in this game. The Pacers' chances in this NBA scrimmage depends upon the availability of their star Victor Oladipo.
The Phoenix Suns take on the Boston Celtics at 1:30 PM E.T. today. The Boston Celtics, who looked lethargic in their previous game, will hope to start over with a victory against the Phoenix Suns. The Suns would like to ride the wave of confidence after beating the Utah Jazz in their previous NBA scrimmage. The possible return of Ricky Rubio helps the Suns' chances, while outcome of this game depends on the performance of Celtics' All-Star Jayson Tatum .
The Portland Trail Blazers will hope to derail the defending champions Toronto Raptors in their scrimmage today at 6 PM E.T. The Raptors looked very comfortable as they dismantled the Rockets earlier this week. The Trail Blazers will fancy their chances with the power of their healthy stars Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. The Raptors remain favorites in this NBA scrimmage because of their momentum and their bench strength.
Published 26 Jul 2020, 16:11 IST