Last year, the Miami Heat had a memorable matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day as LeBron James made his return to South Beach. They got the win over the Cavaliers in that game and they hope to keep the Christmas Day momentum going as the team enters this game with a six-game win streak on the holiday. This year, the Heat will face a young and upcoming squad in the New Orleans Pelicans as the tradition of NBA on Christmas Day continues.
Anthony Davis grew up watching the NBA on Christmas day and now he officially gets to be one of the players participating in the tradition. The New Orleans Pelicans are 9-19 so far on the season which makes the task of beating the Heat a bit daunting, but they have the talent to try and upset the team on their home court. New Orleans has been struggling on the season as they started the year losing 11 of their last 12 games, but they have turned things around being 8-8 since then.
The last two games have been good to New Orleans. The team is averaging 122.5 points per game while shooting 52.1 percent. Their defense has seen a real turnaround as they were ranked last giving up 107.5 points, but have since given up the few points while opponents are shooting just 34.7 percent against the team. That could be a good thing against the Heat that appear to be click on all cylinders right now. However, New Orleans is averaging just 90 points on 42.8 percent shooting on the road against conference opponents.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are no strangers to playing on Christmas Day as the Heat have one of the better records while playing on the holiday. The Heat have struggled recently, dropping two of their last three games in a four-game home court stretch. They have currently allowing the second-fewest points per game, but the Detroit Pistons recently shot 52.6 percent against them in a loss. The Heat have not lost on Christmas since 2007 and they need Wade and Bosh to bounce back if they are going to keep things up.
The Miami Heat understand what it means to play on Christmas Day and win on Christmas Day. They have one of the better records playing on the holiday while the New Orleans Pelicans are getting their first taste of NBA on Christmas Day. Their young squad is capable of the upset as the two teams kick off a full slate of games.