The NBA has five games scheduled for Christmas Day with the big one being the Miami Heat taking on the L.A. Lakers in Los Angeles.
You’ve got Miami’s Big 3 going up against the two-time NBA champions with all the celebrities sitting courtside.
By the time that game comes on, I’m might be snoozing after eating my mom’s turkey and dressing, but as long as I wake up by the fourth quarter, I’m good to go.
Anyway, the other four games aren’t too shabby either, but is each one worth missing out on a meal or gift giving? Will you fall asleep on them or fight fatigue to tune in? Here’s how I see the appeal of the five games on a scale from 1-10.
1. Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks (Noon, ESPN).
Rating scale: 8.2
Why: The Bulls and Knicks aren’t what they were when Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing were going at it, but anytime Derrick Rose is on the court, it’s must-see TV. In Rose, the Bulls have one of the best players in the game and he’ll put on a show in Madison Square Garden. Plus you get to see how the defensive-minded Bulls try to contain the high-tempo Knicks.
2. Boston Celtics @ Orlando Magic (2:30 p.m., ABC).
Rating scale: 7.4
Why: Boston is clearly the best team in the NBA and the Magic are trying to figure out what to do since trading Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus away and getting Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu, who was a key player for the Magic when it reached the 2009 NBA Finals. Until they get their chemistry together, the Magic won’t stand much of a chance against a team that the league’s best chemistry in the Celtics.
3. Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers (5 p.m., ABC).
Rating scale: 9.3
Why: Can’t give this a 10 because that will only be the case if these two teams meet in the NBA Finals this season. It’s still a regular-season game, but it’s the most anticipated one other than when Miami played at Cleveland on Dec. 2 in the return of LeBron James, Act. I. Today’s game should be entertaining. It’s all about pride for Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending NBA champion Lakers. They don’t want the Heat to come into their building with the Big 3 of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and James and beat them. The Heat still need to show they can beat an elite NBA team. This is their chance on the biggest stage.
4. Denver Nuggets @ Oklahoma City Thunder (8 p.m., ESPN).
Rating scale: 7
Why: It has appeal because Oklahoma City has one the best game-night atmospheres in the NBA. You got Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook bringing it for the Thunder as one of the best 1-2 tandems in the game today, but the Nuggets are just a team that for whatever reason has lost their appeal. Maybe it’s because Carmelo Anthony has a New York state of mind and wants to be with the Knicks. Denver coach George Karl battling back from cancer again is a great story, but the Nuggets are liable not to show up and get smoked by the Thunder. They’re not consistent enough.
5. Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m., ESPN).
Rating scale: 6.4
Why: By the time this game comes on, people are either going to be one, sleep, or two, at a party. So it’s hard to figure who’s going to watch this game outside of those on the West Coast. The Warriors can put up big numbers, but they’re not the same without point guard Stephen Curry, who has been out with an ankle injury. If he’s able to play Saturday, that gives the game more appeal, but name a player on either team that makes you want to miss out on something else to watch him? I’ll give you a moment to think about that.