All you need to know for the NBA Christmas Day games
If you’re a person who likes happy things and basketball, then this Christmas will be a great day for you. If you’re a person who dislikes happy things and basketball, then go see Django Unchained and don’t bother the rest of us. If you’re indifferent to both of those things, have a Merry Christmas and talk about foreign policy with your uncle. The NBA outdid itself with this years’ Christmas day schedule. As Ferris Bueller would say, is it so choice. Prepare to relax, break in your new sweaters, channel out crying children, and watch some quality basketball.
Celtics at Nets (12:00, ESPN)
This is a budding NBA rivalry. These teams aren’t fond of each other, the last time they played Rondo pushed Humphries to the ground in pure disgust (he was assisted by a perfectly placed KG trip if you look closely.) The Celts need this one in front of a big national audience. Boston has been playing .500 ball and they know they’re better than that. Brooklyn is already 2-0 against the Celtics this season, but I have a feeling they’ll take an ‘L’ on Jesus’ B-Day. Rondo will have a big game and Pierce will fill it up, he’s been scorching hot lately. Derron Williams will play well like he usually does, but Boston’s veterans will outplay Brooklyn’s. KG will probably be caught saying something terribly inappropriate and disheartening. Prediction: Celtics win
Knicks at Lakers (3:00, ABC)
This is a Precious game for the Lakers. That means it’s huge. Kobe and his makeshift gang need this win against the NBA’s arguably best team on the big stage. LA’s struggles have been well-documented, but Nash has finally returned to right the ship and steer that rickety thing back to port. However, Mr. Carmelo Kyam Anthony has other plans in mind; he’s ready to be the Lakers’ Jack Sparrow. The Knicks are rolling and they don’t want to be the Lakers’ launch pad to success. Look for Tyson Chandler to contain Dwight and Ray Felton to outplay Nash. Melo and Kobe will get their buckets as per usual, but the Knicks’ role players will be the difference. New York has a reliable bench, and Los Angeles does not. It’s pretty simple. Prediction: Knicks win
Thunder at Heat (5:30, ABC)
The rematch. Good versus evil. The Dark Knight against Bane. Home-grown versus imported. Redemption time…maybe. This will be a shootout of epic proportions. The Heat buried OKC pretty easily in The Finals last year. I’m sure KD did not take it well, I’m sure he has a dart board in his crib with The King’s face plastered in the middle of it. However, I’m also sure that LeBron is the best player in the world. It’s probable that he will throw up 40+ on Christmas day. Russell Westbrook is the X-factor here, he has the ability to tear up the Heat. D-Wade has been playing like a shell of himself this season and Russ has been playing like a wild boar with rabies. The Thunder will make a statement and win this game. Also, Kevin Martin will have more points than Ray Allen. Prediction: Thunder win
Rockets at Bulls (8:00, ESPN)
When the NBA scheduled this one, it had Jeremy Lin vs. maybe Derrick Rose written all over it. (AKA “The Fluke vs. The Freak”) While D-Rose won’t play in this one, the Association will still have Lin, but they will also a meteoric star to display: James Harden. If you would’ve told anyone that Harden would be playing in this game before the season started, they would’ve looked at you like you just updated your MySpace page. The Rockets will win this game and Harden will go for at least 30 points. I think that Lin will play well too, he seems to like the big stage. Joakim Noah will provide some solid entertainment on the Bulls’ side. Prediction: Rockets win
Nuggets at Clippers (10:30, ESPN)
The Los Angeles Clippers are currently riding a 13-game winning streak, and no the Mayans weren’t right. Imagine someone saying a sentence like that at any point in the last few decades. Here’s how the conversation would’ve likely gone. “Hey, the Clippers are on a 13-game winning streak dude,” said someone. “How many deep are you bro?” said someone else. The Clippers are legit. They are deep, and if it was possible to be too deep, they’d be that too. LAC is a real threat to come out of the West. CP3 is great, Blake is electric, Jordan is a force, and Crawford is instant-offense. And the Nuggets are a little disappointing this year. Clippers will win this one in an entertaining fashion. Prediction: Clippers win
Merry Christmas to all, and to all some good ball.