Lakers vs. Clippers Reportedly Headlines 2019-20 NBA Christmas Day Games

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 2, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James goes up for a dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Malika Andrews and Tim MacMahon combined to report the matchups for five Christmas Day games for the 2019-20 NBA season on Friday.

According to Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will face off, the New Orleans Pelicans will reportedly visit the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics will hit the road against the Toronto Raptors.

Andrews reported the Milwaukee Bucks will head east to see the Philadelphia 76ers.

Finally, the five-time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors will showcase the brand-new Chase Center in San Francisco when they host the Houston Rockets, per MacMahon.

The Christmas Day schedule may be the most hotly anticipated holiday slate in years. In fact, lines are already out for the games, per B/R Betting:

B/R Betting @br_betting

Christmas Day NBA lines are out 🚨 Raptors (-2) vs. Celtics 76ers (-3.5) vs. Bucks Nuggets (-8.5) vs. Pelicans Lakers (PK) vs. Clippers Warriors (PK) vs. Rockets (via @SuperBookUSA) https://t.co/BHM9LawIq3

The Lakers and Clippers are the presumed Western Conference favorites after both teams reloaded in the offseason.

The Lakers added six-time All-Star Anthony Davis to pair with four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, and the Clips added two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and six-time All-Star Paul George to a roster with many pieces remaining from last year's 48-34 squad, including star sixth man Lou Williams. These two could easily wind up playing each other for an NBA Finals berth in the late spring.

No. 1 overall pick and potential perennial All-NBA First Team member Zion Williamson will take the court against a Denver Nuggets team that finished second in the West last season. The matchup between Williamson and NBA MVP candidate Nikola Jokic will be one to watch.

The Rockets will seek some measure of revenge against the Warriors after losing to them in the playoffs two straight years, although both teams will have new looks. Houston replaced Chris Paul with Russell Westbrook, while the Warriors added D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein, lost Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies. Klay Thompson will still be out due to a torn ACL suffered in the NBA Finals.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers could be an Eastern Conference Finals preview featuring two of the game's best players in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid. The two sides engaged in a couple of fantastic games last year. In April, Antetokounmpo's 45-point, 13-board effort led the Bucks to a 128-122 win over the 76ers despite Embiid's 34-point triple-double.

Lastly, the Boston Celtics will visit the Toronto Raptors in a battle of two teams that will likely find themselves in the East's second tier behind the Bucks and 76ers but could both spoil the party.

Times have not yet been announced for the Christmas Day slate, and the entire NBA schedule has not been released. However, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium dropped a few notable games for star players' returns to old stomping grounds:

Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis will also return to Madison Square Garden and play the New York Knicks on Nov. 14, per Charania. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports said George is headed back to Oklahoma City on March 3.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Sources: Notable superstar return games on 2019-20 NBA schedule: Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard at Toronto: Dec. 11 Lakers‘ Anthony Davis at New Orleans: Nov. 27 Nets‘ Kyrie Irving at Boston: Nov. 27 Rockets’ Russell Westbrook at Oklahoma City: Jan. 9.

The official schedule release date is unknown, but it may be soon, as last year's slate dropped Aug. 10.