Hopefully, you’ve gotten what you asked Santa for and here is a fair warning. Complete the gift unwrapping by 12 PM EST. As always the NBA has provided another year of Christmas Day games.
Meanwhile, some of the youth of the NBA has been given the green light to showcase their talents this Christmas. The Philadelphia 76ers will face the New York Knicks in The Garden. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid feature the youth alongside Kristaps Porzingas. The late game will feature the Minnesota Timberwolves visiting the Los Angeles Lakers in which Karl Anthony-Towns and Jimmy Butler face-off against the new era of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.
Of course, your super teams are getting a Christmas Day run as the Houston Rockets visit the Oklahoma City Thunder. What is Christmas without Kyrie Irving going up against another Eastern Conference rival point-guard in John Wall and the Washington Wizards?
Here are some quick highlights in case you’re wondering what to expect for in the NBA’s winter wonderland.
Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks – 12:00 PM EST ESPN
Buzz: Joel Embiid returned back to action after a three-game absence on Saturday night. He missed the previous games with a sore back. The Sixers are losers of five straight games and currently sitting at the 10th place spot out East. The Knicks last played in Detroit Friday night and have some rest as they are the host team. Embiid is expected to play as he matches up against the Unicorn.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors – 3:00 PM EST ABC
Buzz: These Finals rematch games never get gold. For the third straight year, these two teams met in the Finals in the previous seasons. It’s another Kevin Durant vs Lebron James showdown. The Warriors are coming off a Saturday night loss to the Denver Nuggets in which their 11-game win streak was snapped. Steve Kerr advises that there is no rush in playing Stephen Curry who is out with an ankle injury. Without Curry, KD is averaging 32.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 3 blocks. The Cavaliers will still be without Isaiah Thomas.
Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics – 5:30 PM EST ABC
Buzz: There is a reason for these two teams to show up on Christmas Day. A rivalry the escalated in the season but also the Wizards were knocked out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals last year by the Celtics in a 7-game series. Kyrie Irving now enters the mix as John Wall has a new foe to focus on. Both teams are coming off victories from Saturday night in which they won by a significant margin. The Celtics are 5-5 in the last 10 games. This match-up perhaps could be a preview of a heated playoff series.
Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma City Thunder – 8:00 PM EST ABC
Buzz: Another playoff series rematch ensues here. However, this time the Thunder has reloaded to counter James Harden and his friends. Well, the same can be said about the Rockets except Chris Paul is likely to miss the Christmas Day match-up. Paul did not play in Friday’s game against the Clippers. The Thunder are coming off four straight wins as they defeated the Jazz twice and the Hawks. Perhaps another playoff preview and a good test to measure the Thunder should Paul be available to play.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angeles Lakers – 10:30 PM EST TNT
Buzz: The No. 2 draft pick will not get his first action on Christmas Day due to a shoulder injury. Lonzo Ball, of course, is the center of attention but let’s not ignore their other Rookie Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma dropped 38-points earlier in the week but also became the first Laker rookie to score a minimum of 25 points in three consecutive games since Jerry West. The Timberwolves are quietly sustaining themselves out West as they are winners of three straight games and currently in fourth place in the West with a 20-13 record. Brandon Ingram was a late scratch for Saturday’s game against Portland and his status for Monday’s game is unknown. Without Ingram, the duties in slowing down Kuzma should be slightly easier for the Butler and Andrew Wiggins on the perimeter.
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