Kobe and Nash will square off on Christmas (5 p.m. ET, ABC)
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)


Christmas: Three Wise Matchups

Coverage Starts at 2 p.m.
Miami @ Cleveland 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Phoenix @ L..A. Lakers 5 p.m. ET on ABC
Seattle @ Portland 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Receiving presents is always enjoyable, fulfilling your loved one's holiday wish list is of course gratifying and stuffing yourself with a delicious holiday meal, well that is usually uncomfortable. For families across the world Christmas is a day to continue old traditions and create new memories.

Dating to the 1940's, the NBA has presented exciting Christmas Day matchups. Many have been noted as the greatest regular season games ever played. Some memorable Christmas moments include Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain scoring 59 points against New York in 1961 and the Knicks' rookie, Patrick Ewing helping New York comeback from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Celtics in 1985.

It's 2007 and in true holiday fashion, the NBA is continuing its rich tradition, bringing fans three great matchups. While you sip your egg nog, the Heat will face the Cavs in Cleveland at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Next up, the Suns will take on the Lakers at the Staples Center at 5 p.m. ET on ABC and lastly the Sonics' young squad will attempt to defeat the Trail Blazers in Portland at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Christmas Day games have historically been must-see matchups. And we all know history has been known to repeat itself. If an illustrious past is not enough, below are 12 current reasons to tune in on Dec. 25.


Steve Kerr Talks Christmas

Playing on Christmas Day is a sacrifice and a privilege for NBA athletes. Phoenix GM Steve Kerr discusses his Christmas Day experiences as a player and provides insight on what is in store for the Suns' athletes who will spend Christmas Day on the road as they take on the L.A. Lakers.

Suns.com: Steve Kerr's Christmas Blog


A Cavalier Christmas

Every year millions of fans tune in to watch NBA teams face-off on Christmas Day. While viewers carry on their holiday rituals, the athletes participating in the games alter their celebration. NBA.com caught up with the Cavaliers to find out how they feel about spending their Christmas competing on the court and how they will preserve their holiday traditions.

The Court Reporters Blog: A Cavalier Christmas


The Gift of Giving

Sharing their success and their time, NBA players across the league show their holiday spirit by visiting hospitals and providing toys for children.

NBA Cares: The Gift of Giving


Twelve Reasons to Watch

Optimizing Family Time:
Three games means less awkward silences between you and the family members you haven't seen since last Christmas.

TV Dinner:
With the games running right through dinner time no matter what coast you're on or what time you eat, it's the perfect excuse to dine in front of the TV. Because if it was any fun to eat in the dining room, you would eat there every day.

The Dwyane vs. LeBron Debate Continues:
While you would have a hard time finding someone outside of Miami who would take Dwyane Wade over LeBron James going forward, Flash still has the ring. The debate continues with their first Christmas Day matchup.

Watch Bynum Get Put to the Test:
Amare Stoudemire is a pretty good test to see how far Andrew Bynum has come.

Big Three Minus One:
While Greg Oden isn't playing, the Blazers are still pretty good and two of the "Big Three - 2011 Edition" will be in action.

A Glimpse at the Future:
Kevin Durant is the Star of Christmas Yet to Come. This year is a free preview.

Nicholson Stylin':
Jack Nicholson might be wearing the new sunglasses he got for Christmas.

Shaq vs. Kobe…Again:
Shaquille O'Neal is the all-time leading Christmas Day scorer with 223 total points. Kobe Bryant is second with 204. They won't be on the same floor this year, but they're still going head-to-head in a way.

Putting Your Presents to Good Use:
That sweater your in-laws got you is perfect for throwing at the TV when your team can't get a bucket down the stretch, because it won't break anything.

Narrowing Down Your All-Star Selections:
Base your next All-Star ballot completely on the players who give the most sincere holiday greetings on ABC and ESPN.

Holiday Spirit:
Brian Skinner might dye his goatee red and green.

Recycling:
Using discarded wrapping paper, reenact Kobe's Game 4 buzzer-beater against the Suns. Film it with your new video camera, put it up on YouTube and send us the link. The most accurate reenactment will not win an autographed photo of Rick Kamla.

Just because you are home with your family on Christmas that does't mean you can't be a part of the action. Participate in NBA.com's Realtime Fantasy and you can make decisions and compete against other NBA fans at the very moment Kobe nails a three or Amare Stoudemire rocks the rim with a jam.