The NBA, ABC, and ESPN have scheduled a five-game Christmas Day slate that will satisfy even the most ardent NBA fans. Most Valuable Player candidates Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant,
Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Amare Stoudemire, and Dwyane Wade will be featured during 13 hours of holiday basketball.
The Christmas Day schedule will begin on ESPN with Rose and the Chicago Bulls visiting New York City to face Stoudemire and the New York Knicks at 12:00 p.m. ET. After that, ABC will televise a marquee doubleheader beginning at 2:30 p.m. with Howard and the Orlando Magic hosting the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. The biggest gift of the day will be unwrapped at 5:00 p.m. when James and Wade lead the Miami Heat into Los Angeles to face Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. ESPN will televise an evening doubleheader beginning with the Denver Nuggets visiting Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8:00 p.m. The gift giving will conclude in Oakland with the Golden State Warriors hosting the Portland Trail Blazers.
(All statistics and records are through December 18)
Chicago Bulls (16-9) at New York Knicks (16-12), 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
The Christmas Day NBA schedule will begin with Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer leading the Chicago Bulls into Madison Square Garden to face Amare Stoudemire and the New York Knicks. After failing to land LeBron James, both the Bulls and Knicks signed power forwards who have made significant contributions to their early season success. Last season, without Boozer or Stoudemire, it was the middle of January before either Chicago or New York picked up their 16th win.
Boston Celtics (21-4) at Orlando Magic (16-10), 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC
In a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Finals, Dwight Howard and the new-look Orlando Magic will face the veteran-laden Boston Celtics. One week after acquiring Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu, the Magic (who have lost six of their last seven) will be trying to establish a new nucleus against the Celtics, whose nucleus has been together since 2008 and are on a 12-game winning streak.
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade will give NBA fans the gift they have been waiting for since the Christmas Day schedule was announced back in August. The
Los Angeles Lakers ruled the 2000s by winning four NBA Championships and look to extend their Purple Reign into the 2010s. The Miami Heat All-Star Trio of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade was brought together to create a dynasty of their own. This will be the first meeting between the NBA's reigning dynasty and the trio that was, according to James, brought together to win "not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven" championships of their own.
Denver Nuggets (16-10) at Oklahoma City Thunder (19-8), 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
Kevin Durant and the Northwest Division-leading Oklahoma City Thunder will host Carmelo Anthony and division rival Denver Nuggets in the fourth game of the Christmas Day schedule. The Nuggets, winners of the Northwest Division title in 2009 and 2010, are currently 2 ½ games behind the Thunder. Oklahoma City's future is pretty clear with Durant under contract until 2016. Anthony and the Nuggets are in limbo, with no one knowing if Anthony will still be in Denver after the trade deadline.
Portland Trail Blazers (14-14) at Golden State Warriors (9-17), 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
The run-and-gun Golden State Warriors will host the ball-control Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA's final Christmas gift of the day. When these two teams met on December 18, Portland snuck away with a one-point, 96-95, victory.
Written By Rana G on Sunday, December 19, 2010 | 7:16 PM