Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you all feast on some delicious food and enjoy precious times with your families. Oh, while you are doing all that, flip on the TV, and watch some NBA. Christmas Day has historically been an NBA Holiday, and while the NFL has stolen the day in recent years, there is still five games today, and the biggest brands and rivals in basketball will be on full display.
Unfortunately for Nets fans, unless Brooklyn adds some star power, it's unlikely they will be played on Christmas Day anytime time soon. The Nets last played on Christmas in 2021, when they beat the Lakers at the Staples Center behind 36 points from James Harden and 34 from Patty Mills. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis all missed the game with injury. In 2020, Brooklyn fell to the Celtics in Boston.
Here are my 2023 Christmas Day Matchup Predictions
Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks Prediction: Knicks 122, Bucks 115
These two teams just played in New York on Saturday afternoon, and the Bucks beat the Knicks, their ninth straight win over New York. Christmas is a joyous and hopeful day and the perfect time for the Knicks to snap that streak. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle have been hot lately, and both will drop 30 tomorrow, while RJ Barrett will break out of his recent slump. Giannis and Dame will still get theres, but it won't be enough.
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Prediction: Nuggets 114, Warriors 110
The Warriors have struggled this season, while the Nuggets have picked right back up where they left off last season. Christmas Day games just mean more, and the Warriors have Championship DNA, even without Draymond Green. Steph Curry will ball out, and Chris Paul's impact will be felt in a pesky way, but on their home court, the Nuggets squeak out a close win.
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Lakers 109, Celtics 108
Boston (22-6) is tied with Minnesota for the league's best record. The Lakers went 7-0 in the in-season tournament and were crowned champions but have struggled in non-tournament games. The Christmas afternoon showcase is arguably the grandest stage in the NBA's regular season, which is the perfect time for LeBron James to drop a 40 piece. In an old-school rivalry, the Lakers make just enough plays in the fourth quarter, thanks to the GOAT, and Anthony Davis makes a big-time defensive stop on the game's final possession.
Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Prediction: 76ers 106, Heat 94
The 76ers are on a mission this year. Tyrese Maxey is playing at an all-star level and could be an Eastern Conference All-Star starting guard in February. Since trading James Harden, the 76ers have looked in sync and have enough depth behind Joel Embiid to give every NBA team problems. The Heat may care about this game more than most regular season games (which they do not care about), but it's the 76ers who need to and will make a loud statement in South Beach.
Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Prediction: Mavericks 115, Suns 114
Nets fans hate both teams. This game was supposed to be the first Kyrie Irving vs. Kevin Durant showdown since both were traded out of Brooklyn last February, but Irving will likely miss the contest with an injury. With Irving out (Bradley Beal is questionable for the Suns), this is a prime Luka Doncic game. Nobody loves the Primetime stage more than Luka. A 50-piece is within question. Devin Booker does not like the Mavs after they embarrassed him in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals in 2022 but will be walking off his home court with another marquee loss to Dallas.