Written by: Joe Ryan
We’re getting close. We’re getting really close now. The NBA just dropped the games for the biggest day in the NBA Regular Season; Christmas Day.
So much anticipation was built around these games due to all the changes that happened during the regular season. Unlike any other sport, the NBA is the one where the whole league changes from year to year and it’s awesome. So, with all of that, we just knew we were getting a really good Christmas Day slate. But did we?
I’m going to rank each game and then give the game a score out of 10 with 10 being the best game on the slate.
Before we dive into it, I personally don’t love the slate. It could’ve and should’ve been better but it is what it is. If you want to see what I originally proposed, you can check it out here.
Game 1: Bucks @ Knicks
Nothing to jump out of your couch for but I like that the Knicks get a home Christmas Day game. They’re like the Lions of the NFL. Not always good but they’re a brand. Just like the Lions always get a home Thanksgiving day, the Knicks should always get a home Christmas Day game. And it’s not a bad game either. Giannis deserves to have a Christmas game and show his talents to the world and the Knicks have a good young core with Knox and Ntilikina that fans can watch. I’m more than okay starting off Christmas Day with this.
The score: 5.7/10
Game 2: Thunder @ Rockets
Yeah, don’t love this. I get it, we get to watch Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Paul George, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony playing on the same court at 3 o’clock on Christmas Day but just something doesn’t do this for me. We already know the Rockets and Thunder are going to have primetime games against each other throughout the whole year, so why do we have to see it on Christmas. Like, why couldn’t we get a Rockets vs Warriors or a Raptors vs Spurs in this slot? Something with a big storyline. There isn’t much here except Melo playing against OKC and that’s barely a headline.
The Score: 3.3/10
Game 3: 76ers @ Boston
Again, why? Why these 2 against each other? We’re going to see plenty of these 2 teams against one another since they play in the same division and since they’re both on the same crash course to the NBA finals. There’s a chance these 2 teams can play 10+ times by next June. Whats the headline for this game? Why not Jazz @ 76ers? Ben Simmons vs Donovan Mitchell? The NBA community would much rather that.
The score: 2.7/10
Game 4: Lakers @ Warriors
Alright, I finally got something I can sink my teeth into. This is probably going to be he first time the new look Lakers play the Warriors. And who are we kidding, this is LeBron James vs the Warriors like every Christmas Day should be. Would I rather see Lakers vs Celtics and Rockets vs Warriors for more competitive games? Sure. But at least this has a great headline. LeBron is now going to have to beat the mighty Warriors to just reach the Finals. Never mind beating them to win it all. Can the new, young Lakers + LeBron James beat the Warriors on their first chance against them and send a message to the rest of the league? Well, at least it gives NBA fans hope to save the Christmas night.
The Score: 7.8/10
Game 5: Blazers @ Jazz
The nightcap. And it’s another ho-hum game. It’s the same as the Knicks-Bucks. NBA fans can watch Dame and CJ go get buckets after their stomachs are full and they’re exhausted from opening presents and watching the NBA all day. And also, Donovan Mitchell deserves a Christmas game so I can understand it. But, what’s the headline? There is none. But if there is a game that doesn’t need a headline, it’s the nightcap because that’s the game people care less about.
The score: 5.2/10
Nothing major jumps off the page here. When I saw the slate, I was disappointed. I wanted games that really excited me with big headlines, big stories, and most importantly, great games. I just don’t think we’re getting that this year. And that’s disappointing.
Let us know what you guys think of the slate. We’d love to discuss it. Use the Hashtag, #TheSpan, to start up a discussion and make sure you follow @wingspansports (link ⬇️⬇️⬇️) to follow constant tweets and blogs about the NBA and all things sports.