Merry Christmas to all and to all an awesome NBA holiday offering. With five games on tap for today starting at noon, many basketball nerds like myself will be fixated on televisions for nearly 12 hours with some family time sprinkled in between (I kid, somewhat). Stop by occasionally throughout the day to offer your thoughts on the day’s proceedings whether it be a potential Rondo or LeBron triple double, Carmelo/KD/Kobe going for 40+ or Blake Griffin putting an innocent Nugget on a poster.
Each game comes with a preview, betting line for those participating in the always entertaining Christmas Day wagers with a drunk uncle and/or cousin and a must-see individual matchup with a predicted stat line. Those numbers will more than likely prove to be anything but accurate, but they’re icebreakers nonetheless. Again, Merry Christmas to everyone out there. Enjoy this day with your loved ones and be sure to tell the family Tins says hello.
Boston Celtics (13-13) @ Brooklyn Nets (14-12)
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
Line: Brooklyn (-3.5)
Both teams enter Christmas Day on a downward spirals. Boston finds itself still in the process of establishing a consistent rotation and 1-4 in their last five games. Meanwhile, the Nets are the owners of a 3-8 record in December. That said, the leadoff game of a quintuple header is star player-laden. The last time these two teams squared off in Beantown Rajon Rondo’s double-digit assist streak came to a halt after after confronting Kris Humphries for what he perceived to be a bush league foul on Kevin Garnett. And Paul Pierce did a face dive all thanks to Smokin’ Joe Johnson. Expect no love to be lost, especially with the entire country having one eye on gifts and the other on halfcourt.
Must-See TV: Deron Williams (23 pts, 10 asts, 6 rebs, 3 stls) vs. Rajon Rondo (16 pts, 19 asts, 12 rebounds, 3 stls). And, of course, the obligatory Jay-Z and Beyonce sighting with the outside possibility of them even bringing Blue Ivy. I’ll have to check Vegas and see what the line is on that.
New York Knicks (20-7) @ Los Angeles Lakers (13-14)
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST
Line: Los Angeles (-3.5)
The last time Kobe Bryant took the floor Saturday night at Golden State, he hoisted the rock 41 times. Who knows what he has planned for a nationally televised game when he knows all eyes are fixated on Hollywood. In case you don’t know by now, this game features the NBA’s top two scorers in Bean and Carmelo Anthony, making it only the third time in NBA history the feat will occur on Christmas Day. Today also presents the first true litmus test for this slowly, but surely healing Lakers squad with Steve Nash back at the point.
One thing to monitor is if the Lakers allows the two-time MVP to operate the offense out of his hands, or if Kobe stays in gunner mode somehow convincing himself it’s 2006 all over again. Another dynamic to pay attention to is Tyson Chandler vs. Dwight Howard. Remember, Dwight not too long ago suggested Tyson only won Defensive Player of the Year last year off the strength everyone hated him for the Orlando fiasco. He was right about half of that.
On a real life note, however, much, much respect to Amar’e Stoudemire for playing Santa this year to a New York family in need. All jokes aside, 2012 has been one hell of a roller coast for Stat, both on and off the court. No word yet on his status.
Must-See TV: Kobe Bryant (31 pts, 7 rebs, 6 asts) vs. Carmelo Anthony (34 pts, 8 rebs, 5 asts); J.R. Smith in L.A. in front of America has “awesome” written all over it, too.