Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rating All of the NBA Christmas Games

Christmas is usually a great day for the National Basketball Association, and this year will be like no other. For me, I'm usually watching these awesome games sitting in a pool in some place warm, but this year, I'm stuck at home to watch the games that truly won't be very appealing. The NBA obviously schedules these games-just like every game-before the season, so the 'suits' of the association predicted which teams would be entertaining and have the ability to showcase a quality brand of basketball. The problem is, the suits whiffed on a lot of their predictions. Although the Celtics are not playing tomorrow and the matchups don't look as great as they did at the start of the season, I will still enjoy viewing good basketball. Here are the matchups. previews, and advice from me to you when it comes to the games featuring the sleeved jerseys...

(All times are in Eastern Time and the channels may be subject to change)

Chicago Bulls @ Brooklyn Nets: 12:00 PM on ESPN
In the preseason, this game looked very appealing because of the star veterans on Brooklyn and the electrifying return of Derrick Rose. But now, with Derrick Rose injured AGAIN for the Bulls, Brook Lopez out for the season on Brooklyn, and Pierce and Garnett suddenly losing at least a step on their games, this game is not at all appetizing. Honestly, the score of this game might end up looking like a college game. The early game on Christmas Day will be a lot of old players and reserves jogging around hocking up 25 foot jump shots and walking on defense. The only way this game could possibly become interesting is if Deron Williams goes off for 40 points and hits a ton of threes; but that most likely won't happen. My advice to you, do yourself a favor and sleep in. Have a good breakfast and start off your day right by doing something productive, don't count on this game to be entertaining so don't bother watching it if you don't really care about either team.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ New York Knicks: 2:30 PM on ABC
Like the noon game, this game looked pretty good before the season tipped off. But now that we know about both teams, this game will be an absolute aberration. Look out for OKC to win in a blowout. If you like seeing KD and Westbrook tool around against guys who have never played an ounce of defense in your life, this game may be actually fun to watch. Carmelo will get his usual 25 points off of 20 shots in a loss and he'll pout and moan all about it after the game and on Twitter. The game wont be competitive and you won't learn anything new about either team, but watching Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook score 20+ is always fun. My advice for you, watch the first half.
Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers: 5:00 PM on ABC
The "looking good in the preseason, bad now" is becoming a common theme right about now. The defending champions, led by Lebron James, the best player in the world, will annihilate the Kobe-less Lakers. It-will-not-be-close. Lebron will play well on the big stage like he always seems to do on Christmas. He's 6-1 on X-Mas Day while averaging Lebron-like numbers. 28-8-6 are his statline reading from points to assists to rebounds. Sadly, we will see a lot of Nick "Swaggy P" Young shooting contested threes and Kobe giving him death stares from the bench in street clothes. My advice for you is to eat a delicious, early meal in order to avoid this game.
Houston Rockets @ San Antonio Spurs: 8:00 PM on ESPN
Here we go now, this is when the magic happens. Dwight vs. Duncan. Harden vs. Parker. The battle of Texas (sorry D-Town) will be as entertaining as ever. This nail-biter will probably be decided in the last few minutes of the game and the Hack-a-Dwight strategy may be involved in a Spurs victory. One thing to look out for in this game is the fact that James Harden always seems to play super-duper well on Christmas. In three games, he's undefeated and averaging 22 points per game on nearly 50% shooting. The Spurs aren't particularly a fun team to watch, but they always seem to get the job done. The Rockets on the other team are a fast-tempo team who like to run high pick and rolls and throw alley-oops. The polar opposites in the sense of entertainment value will clash to create a fantastic product. This game may end up being the most watchable game of the day. Not necessarily the best, but the easiest on the eyes. The advice; watch this game intently and take notes.

Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors: 10:30 PM on ESPN
This game consisting of the Splash Bros and the Dysfunctional Superstars will not only feature awesome basketball, but also outstanding television for the whole basketball-loving family. Last time these two teams played, it was a very physical, grueling match that came down to the wire. Chris Paul had an unbelievable game with 45 points and 15 assists while dominating Steph Curry on the other side of the ball. The only downside is it starts at 10:30 PM eastern time. That is late even for grownups and most people have to work the day after Christmas! My advice is to try to stay up for the whole game because it's going to be a good one.

Overall Christmas Day Games:
ADVICE: Pace yourself. There are 13 hours of basketball to be watched so I recommend napping in between games and at halftime to avoid having to spend time with 'da fam.
OVERALL RATING/ANALYSIS: The games definitely get better as the day goes along. Basketball is always great and even though some of the early games will probably stink, there's always a possibility that someone goes off for 40 and makes things interesting. B+