This Christmas, five NBA games will take place from New York to Los Angeles. Plan your day wisely, because there isn’t any time to mess around. Starting at 12 PM ET, Dwayne Wade and the young Miami Heat take on the New York Knicks who have won three straight games, and finishing off the day with two improved Western Conference teams: Denver and Portland (10:30 PM ET.) Don’t forget the three other games in between (Boston/Orlando, Cleveland/LA Lakers, LA Clippers/Phoenix Suns) What more could any NBA fan want on Christmas day? But will each game live up to its highest expectations with an extra special holiday audience?
Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland –Hype Level: 95%
With Shaq headed back to Los Angeles, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have expected a spectacular season from the start, but the outcome won’t affect TV ratings. Shaq vs. LA has become a tradition in itself. Lebron James and Kobe Bryant will fight for the biggest stage and each star expects to show that he is the most talented player in the NBA. Cleveland is not a popular pick in this year’s hyped matchup, but Lebron James is capable of changing a scenario with odds against him; and turning this decade around into his favor.
Boston and Orlando –Hype Level: 83%
The top two teams in the East are playing off of winning streaks. Boston has won two straight and Orlando has three straight wins. The Celtics will be spending Christmas in Orlando but that isn’t a problem, with only one loss on the road this season. They are looking for revenge after losing last year in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Magic.
Denver and Portland – Hype Level: 70%
The last game of the day between the Nuggets and Blazers will keep you awake after a long day of NBA action. Denver heads to Portland on Christmas and is expecting an easy win. The Blazers have several injuries on their roster and Brandon Roy’s performance is key for a Blazer win.
Miami and New York – Hype Level: 54%
I’m giving this game a little more hype than deserved. New York does not deserve a spot on TV. The only reason an audience exists for this early game is to see Dwayne Wade. Wade should have a performance to remember in Madison Square Garden. Miami currently holds the 5th seed in the East, while New York is inching closer to the 8th seed.
Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix — Hype Level: 35%
Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns look to demolish the Clippers without Blake Griffin. Phoenix has surprised everyone giving Steve Nash a shot at as an MVP candidate. The main thing to look out for in Phoenix is the scoreboard. Watch out because Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash, and the Suns will bring it to the hopeless Clippers.