14 2018 NBA All-Stars and the last five NBA MVPs will be showcased on Christmas Day.
The NBA’s scintillating slate of Holiday games will definitely fill the backgrounds of millions of busy holiday households and create some memorable fan moments and a few family rifts before Christmas Day is through.
14 2018 NBA All-Stars are currently expected to play on Christmas Day, including the last five NBA MVP’s: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, and King James.
BUCKS AT KNICKS (Noon, ESPN):
The Knicks will play on Christmas Day for an NBA-high 53rd time. Expect Giannis Antetokounmpo to get revenge for being dunked on and stared down by Knicks forward Mario Hezonja on Dec. 1.
Three players have scored 50 or more points in a game on Christmas Day: Bernard King (60 points in 1984), Wilt Chamberlain (59 points in 1961) and Rick Barry (50 points in 1966). Superstars loving torching the Knicks on the holidays and Greek Freak will probably drop a 55-16-13 triple-double in a classic performance. He might even hit four three-pointers.
THUNDER AT ROCKETS (3 p.m., ABC): Both teams are playing at the top of their game right now. The Rockets have jumped on James Harden’s back and risen out of the doldrums into 8th place and rising, in the West.
Paul George and Russell Westbrook are in sync and a formidable duo. OKC is in the thick of things in the West at 21-11, just 1 game out of first place. George is playing at an MVP, pre-injury level.
Paul George throws it down for 2 of his 22 first-half points!
Will he score 40 PTS for a 3rd consecutive game? pic.twitter.com/P3ER4YQagz
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 24, 2018
Russ is Russ, averaging a triple-double and leading the NBA in assists and steals.
76ERS AT CELTICS (5:30 p.m., ABC): Both of these star-studded squads are still trying to find themselves and develop the perfect winning chemistry. Kyrie Irving remains at the center of trade rumors and controversy concerning his place on this current Celtics squad that sits in fifth place in the East at 19-13 after all of the preseason hype about running away with the division and competing for an NBA title.
The oddsmakers had him being traded before the trade deadline on Feb. 7, 2019.
Will Kyrie Irving be dealt before the 2018-19 NBA Trade Deadline?
Yes -200 (66.7% probability)
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) October 12, 2018
The Jimmy Butler trade hasn’t given the Sixers as big of a boost in the standings as Elton Brand hoped when he made the trade. Philly is a solid team but sits in fourth place in an Eastern Conference that they were supposed to contend for. Some have accused Butler of holding back out in an attempt to shed a perception that he’s a selfish player.
The Sixers need Jimmy Butler to stop playing timid https://t.co/9w70fHkfGJ
— Philadelphia Inquirer Sports (@phillysport) December 20, 2018
This game could be a turning point for either squad.
LAKERS AT WARRIORS (8 p.m., ESPN): Curry got his 42 on Sunday night, so Kevin Durant, who’s averaged 31.1 points in his 8 previous Christmas games will probably give Bron about 45 on Christmas Day. The Lakers will be competitive and are hanging tough at 19-14, fourth place overall in the Western Conference.
LeBron James will play his 13th Christmas Day game, which will tie him for the second-most appearances in NBA history. Kobe Bryant holds the record with 16. Speaking of Kobe, he’s the all-time Christmas Day scoring leader with 395 points, followed by Oscar Robertson (377 points) and James (321 points) who will close that gap tomorrow.
TRAIL BLAZERS AT JAZZ(10:30 p.m., ESPN): Donovan Mitchell loves the big stage and his first nationally televised Christmas Day game will be one of his best efforts of the season. He might go for 40.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are going to be lighting it up as well and could easily combine for 80 points. If anyone is still awake by the time this game comes on it will be a high scoring affair.