Blogtable: What will be the best NBA Christmas Day gift?
From NBA.com Staff
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A gift from the five-game Christmas Day lineup that should delight us all?
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David Aldridge: The Process vs. The Unicorn, as you finish opening your presents and just before Drunk Uncle comes over. With any luck, this will become an annual matchup and possible playoff ritual in the east. Can you imagine an Acela Series between the Sixers and Knicks?
Steve Aschburner: If a miracle recovery for Stephen Curry’s ankle is too much to ask — and based on Golden State’s medical update Tuesday evening, it is — I’d encourage NBA Santa Claus to stuff our stockings with gifts up and down the Christmas lineup. Like a Joel Embiid-Kristaps Porzingis shootout in the day’s Sixers-Knicks opener, followed by classic LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant (at one end) and Draymond Green (at the other). A slice of last spring’s Wizards-Celtics playoff series would be both naughty and nice for the holiday’s middle game. The Rockets-Thunder showdown packs enormous potential as a West semifinals preview, assuming all the stars are aligned and healthy. By night’s end, all I want for Christmas is a stingy defensive performance from the Timberwolves, just to save coach Tom Thibodeau’s voice for the next day and his molars for the New Year.
Shaun Powell: I’d really like to see everyone healthy (other than Steph Curry, who is all but ruled out) and on the floor for Cavs-Warriors. I realize the priority for these teams is summertime, not Christmastime, but this is a national TV game and a chance for the NBA to dominate households. That’s the only game that carries heavy entertainment value and features a pair of true title contenders. Basketball fans deserve a blockbuster game and a chance to dream for a June re-re-re-rematch.
John Schuhmann: Any time the Cavs and Warriors play, it’s a must watch. It stinks that Stephen Curry and Isaiah Thomas won’t be in uniform, but both teams are still playing well and the LeBron James-Kevin Durant matchup (with both putting up MVP numbers over the last couple of weeks) is well worth the price of admission.
Sekou Smith: The biggest gift of all is the next chapter in the Warriors-Cavaliers rivalry. And there is no other present under the tree that will consume my energy and attention on Christmas Day more than the latest installment (sorry LeBron, but Draymond’s right, this is definitely a rivalry). The players involved can talk all they want about this being just another game and all that stuff, but we all know better. You don’t battle to the final day of the season for three straight years against the same team and not bring that history and drama with you the next time you see them. And I want to know how the dynamic changes for both sides now without Kyrie Irving involved. This game would have been off the charts if Cavaliers All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas was in uniform and ready to play. But I never got that horse I wanted back in the day either, so you take what you can get on the holiday.