NBA Preview 1st January 2021

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Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards: Washington to win @ 1.35

A rematch will take place between the Bulls and the Wizards on new years day as the Wizards seek their first win of the season.

Westbrook has looked like his 2017 self to kick off this season- averaging a 19 point, 13.7 rebound, and 12.7 assist triple-double with a 42% FG. Beal has also started this season in remarkable fashion, averaging 32 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. However, this has not led to a win for varying reasons. Washington ranks 17th in the league for points scored and 23rd in 3-point percentage, with the star duo attributing to this majorly shooting 10% and 24% from 3 respectively. They will need to beef this percentage up and look to get others involved in the form of Bertans, Bryant, Smith, Bonga, and Avdija, which if they can do, will mean curtains for the Bulls.

Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets: Rockets -5.5 @ 1.97

The Kings will travel to Houston to take on a Rockets team that is re-gaining some handy fire-power with Wall, Cousins, and Gordon expected to make their returns for this match.

The Rockets have managed to be 5th in points per game whilst missing a large chunk of their team thanks to some Harden magic (Average of 39 points, 12.5 assists, and 5 rebounds) and a player by the name of Christian Wood who has firmly put his name at the forefront of the most improved discussion thus far, averaging 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. Both their losses came against quality opposition, losing to the Blazers in overtime and falling to a team that made the Western Conference finals in the Nuggets. With the return of these players, the Rockets will be given a huge boost in their already solid level of play, which should see them easily cover the line.

Orlando Magic v Philadelphia 76ers:  76ers to win @ 1.62

Orlando has started this season on fire going 4-0 as they head into this game with significant confidence, whilst the 76ers have a slightly worse record at 3-1 courtesy of their shock 24 point loss against the Cavaliers. The Magic have some impressive firepower with 4 players averaging over 17 points per game, most notably Terence Ross who is their leading average scorer with 21 and looks to be in the top handful of players vying for the 6th man of the year award. However, I think the fun will stop momentarily as they face Philadelphia. The Sixers responded well after their loss against the Cavs with a 7 point win over the raptors as Embiid, Harris, Simmons, and Curry all put up good numbers. I expect them to roll on past Orlando and establish themselves as serious threats to the Eastern Conference.