Welcome to what is for some, the official start to the NBA season. Christmas day match ups are where instant classics are born. Check out today’s line up.
Celtics vs Knicks at Madison Square Garden
It all starts off at Noon eastern, as the Celtics travel to New York to take on the Knicks. The days of Bird vs Ewing might be gone, but this is an important game in its own right. The Knicks trail the Celtics by a single game in the Atlantic Division, and Boston needs a win streak after a disappointing start. It should be an exciting game, as both teams look to hit the ground running in 2017.
The Chicago Bulls at The San Antonio Spurs
In the second game, Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade lead the Bulls into San Antonio to take on the Spurs. The Spurs counter with a lineup that hasn’t missed an offensive or defensive beat without Tim Duncan. They’re led by quiet two-way assassin Kawhi Leonard, who has a chance at his first MVP award this year.
The Bulls come in needing a signature win, but the Spurs are always tough at home.The Bulls will need a lot of help from their bench to escape with a win.
The Golden State Warriors at The Cleveland Cavaliers
The marquee matchup this Christmas is of course The Warriors at the Cavs. Need we say more than that it’s a rematch of the last two NBA finals? If so, it’s probably something about two flawless division leaders coming in healthy and at the top of their respective games.
Kevin Durant has had zero difficulty fitting in with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson etc, as the Warriors have roared to a 25-4 start. On the other side, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love have early helped The Cavs show the chemistry they lacked for much of last year. It should be one of the year’s best games and will go a long way toward determining the league’s overall best record.
The Battle For Los Angeles Supremacy — Clippers vs Lakers
Time and age will tell if the Clippers’ ancient Paul Pierce can pick up the slack for the injured Blake Griffin. If not, Chris Paul and Deandre Jordan will face a much-improved Lakers squad without a legitimate third option. Led by Lou Williams and D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers bring five double-figure scorers into the fray.
The Lakers have shown more cohesiveness so far in the post Kobe era. They also have a young nucleus with enormous potential. And although the Lakers are still a long shot for the playoffs, they should be a tough out for the Clippers this year.
The Minnesota Timberwolves at the Oklahoma City Thunder
For the nightcap, we have the underachieving Timberwolves traveling to Oklahoma City. Many NBA fans will have their first look at the Wolves’ talented duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. They’re one of the few bright spots for a team that’s lurched out of the starting gate at 8-19, but watching these two if worth the price of admission. There’s also Russell Westbrook to watch out for. The Thunder’s mercurial guard comes in averaging a triple double.