Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Brew Hoop and SB Nation! For many, Christmas marks the day when the sports calendar unofficially rolls over from football to basketball season. The NFL is wrapping up its regular season while playoff contenders emerge in the NBA. The 25th of December offers casual fans an all-day exhibition of many of the NBA's best teams (and, as it happens this year, a few of its worst) to really rev up the rest of the season.
The Bucks are still a few years away from earning a coveted spot on the NBA's Christmas Day schedule, so today viewers will have to satiate their basketball appetites with mostly big-market showdowns. Feel free to drop in here throughout the day to talk Bucks and basketball with other fans ducking their friends and families for a few minutes!
And if you're looking for a more active viewing experience, check out SB Nation fantasy basketball partner FanDuel.com to join a Christmas Day fantasy league. You can choose a team from every game today and compete with thousands of other fans for a chance to win cash prizes! Not a bad gift to get yourself. Here's the link to FanDuel's tournament lineup today.
11:00AM CT, ESPN
The Story: The Wizards continue to make their case as a top team in the Eastern Conference and a strong contender to reach the NBA Finals. The Knicks meanwhile are a complete disaster, with just one more win and two more losses than the 76ers.
1:30PM CT, ABC
The Story: Neither team expected to be where they are in the standings at this point in the season, with the Thunder currently outside the top-8 in the conference and the Spurs clinging to the 7th seed. Both have had significant heath troubles this season, notably the extended absence of Kevin Durant, who will miss his fourth straight game today due to a sprained ankle.
Cleveland Cavalier at Miami Heat
4:00PM CT, ABC
The Story: LeBron's back, the Cavs are clawing their way up the playoff ladder, and the Heat are 7th in the Eastern Conference Playoffs despite sitting three games under .500. Think Miami wants this one?
7:00PM CT, TNT
The Story: The Lakers, like the Knicks, are a fixture on the NBA's Christmas Day schedule for obvious reasons, but this game brings a ton of intrigue with it despite LA's awful record. Two nights ago Kobe Bryant took a game off and the Lakers went out and beat the Golden State Warriors 115-105, putting up one of the best team offensive performances of their season. We will probably hear about that for a while.
Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
9:30PM CT, ABC
The Story: If the NBA induced a few eye rolls with games featuring the terrible Lakers and Knicks, it made up for it with the nightcap featuring arguably the NBA's best team in a big-time rivalry game. The Clippers, currently 6th in the Western Conference standings, are only one win behind the 4th-seeded Houston Rockets, and they'd love to close the gap in their own division with a win over Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.