‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the League, Not a player was playing, not even Jeff Teague. The matchups were set with the rivalries ripe, Some were historical and some were just hype. “Now, Kobe! now, ‘Bron! now, Dwight and KG! On, Amar’e! on, Rose! on, ‘Melo and KD! From the start of the game! For every loose ball! Now dunk away! Dunk away! Dunk away all!” … Can you tell we’re excited? With no NBA games on the docket last night, we had all day to think about the storylines for today’s action. And one thing in particular we’re looking forward to is copious amounts of buckets. Four of the top five active Christmas Day scoring leaders will be in action, as all eyes will surely be on Kobe Bryant (304), Shaquille O’Neal (270), Dwyane Wade (139) and LeBron James (103). But one interesting tidbit for all you Laker and Heat fans out there hoping today will be a preview of what’s to come in June: teams that have met on Christmas Day have never met in the Finals … Speaking of Kobe and LeBron, while the Mamba hasn’t spoken to the media since his ejection the other night, LeBron had enough to say for the both of them. With both players debuting limited-edition Christmas Day colorways of their signature sneakers, King James said the Nike LeBron 8 (which costs $30 more than the Nike Zoom Kobe VI) is “a better shoe.” But why? “Because it is,” said James. “Because it’s LeBron’s shoe. It’s got my name on it. I take pride in my shoes every year and I’ve always taken pride in having the best shoe. So they’re going to cost a little more if you decide to wear them.” Bernard King scored 60 points on Christmas Day back in 1984. After this, we could see Kobe going for 61 … Some quick thoughts on each game: 1) Speaking of scoring, D-Rose has already registered eight 30-point games for the Bulls this year, equaling his career total coming into the season. Can he go for 30-plus at the Garden? 2) The Magic know that they’re going to have to go through Boston in the playoffs again this year, so how quickly can they get their new squad all on the same page? Ending the Celtics’ 14-game winning streak would go a long way towards reaching their goal.