NBA Christmas Day 2012 Schedule: Game-by-Game Preview and Analysis
The official 2012-13 NBA schedule has been...yeah, yeah, yeah, "what about Christmas," right?
No, I'm not overly worried about presents, but the NBA has gotten into a pesky habit of presenting some amazing action and entertainment on everyone's favorite holiday.
I don't even know why the NBA does it; maybe it has a goal of pissing off mothers, wives and significant others who don't want to watch basketball for 12 hours on a day usually reserved for family time.
But I'm not about to complain, because this year's Christmas slate includes Boston-Brooklyn, New York-Los Angeles and Oklahoma City-Miami.
Yes, please. Let's take a closer look at the games set to take place on December 25.
For a complete look at the Christmas Day schedule, check out NBA.com
Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets, 12:00 p.m. ET
I guess this game has a few storylines. Both the Celtics and Nets have vastly improved this summer and will be looking to be the Eastern elite.
Then there's the whole ordeal about this being the Nets' first season in Brooklyn, so if you're looking to find Jay-Z on Christmas, this is probably going to be the place to look.
But what I'm most looking forward to—and don't get me wrong, I completely undersold the first two tidbits—is the point guard play.
Rajon Rondo is a triple-double threat every time he steps on the court, especially on the big stage (or so it seems). Deron Williams, one of the most dynamic point guards in the league, is a near lock for 20 and 10 every time out. Plus, now he finally has a legitimate backcourt mate in Joe Johnson to take away a good deal of pressure off the star PG's shoulders.
To be clear, these are two stacked teams playing on the biggest stage, but don't be surprised if the floor generals steal the show.
New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers, 3:00 p.m. ET
This one also looks to be an intriguing matchup of the point guards.
Not necessarily two elite point guards like the previous matchup, but two guards who have joined new teams in order to make a run at a title.
Going up against Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and an improved Knicks team will provide for a good test early in Mike Brown's second year.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat, 5:30 p.m. ET
This is without a doubt the matchup everyone will be most looking forward to Christmas Day.
LeBron James—who is now fully entrenched as the best player in the world—and the Miami Heat ran all over the Oklahoma City Thunder last NBA Finals.
Kevin Durant—the league's second best player—and the Thunder will be out for revenge in this first meeting since that defeat. It might not be that easy, though.
While OKC is basically the same team from last year, the Heat have made some major changes, adding sharpshooters Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
Miami killed the Thunder in the finals with its ability to drive, kick and knock down the open threes. With even more long-ball specialists, the Heat could make it a long and miserable holiday for the Thunder in Miami. But with four absolute studs, you can never count Oklahoma City out.
Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls, 8:00 p.m. ET
Ahh, the power of Jeremy Lin.
This is just a hunch, but if the New York Knicks would have matched Houston's offer for the young point guard, I'm guessing the Rockets would have gotten the day off on Christmas.
My apologies to every family member of every other Houston Rocket.
Nonetheless, this is an intriguing contest. While the Rockets will likely still be trying to figure out their rotation of 15 forwards, ages 21 to 22, they will certainly be fun to watch (however they look).
The Bulls, unfortunately, will still be without Derrick Rose, but that just means an easier time for Jeremy Lin and more terrible Lin-Christmas puns.
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET
The second half of the Staples Center double-header likely won't be the most anticipated game of the night, but it does feature two teams that can run up the scoreboard in a hurry.
On the other side, the superstar-less Denver Nuggets aren't going to turn many heads, but you can't argue guys like Kenneth Faried, Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson aren't worth watching.
Most people will be drunk on egg-nog or in a food coma by this point, but this isn't a bad way to cap an epic night.