While it remains unofficial, the NBA Christmas Day schedule appears to be fully formed. And it features five tremendous matchups.
Am told this is the Christmas Day slate of games this year:
BOS at NYK
GSW at CLE
CHI at SAS
MIN at OKC
LAC at LAL
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) August 11, 2016
Obviously the headliner is the revamped Golden State Warriors visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of this past season’s NBA Finals. But the other four contests could be just as exciting, if not more so.
The Boston Celtics should have their hands full taking on the new-look New York Knicks at The Garden. While it remains to be seen how all the pieces will fit together, or if Derrick Rose can stay healthy, the Knicks are one of the most intriguing teams to follow this season.
The same can be said for Rose’s former team, the Chicago Bulls, which will now be led by a new dynamic duo in the form of Jimmy Butler and Chicago native Dwyane Wade. They’ll be in San Antonio for a visit with the Tim Duncan-less Spurs, who are entering a new era of their own.
Perhaps the most underrated of the five matchups could be the most exciting when the young guns of the Minnesota Timberwolves travel to face the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder. Armed with a new contract and a chip on the shoulder the size of Mt. Everest, we could see Russell Westbrook average close to a triple-double in 2016-17 playing without Durant.
Of course, an NBA Christmas Day schedule wouldn’t be complete without the Los Angeles Lakers, who will host the Los Angeles Clippers. Luke Walton has his hands full with his young roster. It will be fascinating to see what he can do in his first year as a legit head coach after his masterful work with the Warriors in Steve Kerr’s absence last season.
It’s a tremendous slate of action that should provide endless fun for those watching on television and attending live.