1. Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
This is the game most people have probably been waiting all season for, and for the NBA to make it one of the marquee Christmas day games was spectacular marketing. It’s Los Angeles against The Bay, Kevin Durant against LeBron James, Lake Show against Dub Nation. In all honesty, I wish Durant and LeBron were in the same conference their entire career so we could get to see them go head-to-head more often.
This matchup could have been perfect if it were in Los Angeles because no offense to the Bay Area but it doesn’t attract the same type of stars as the courtside seats at the Staples Center. Either way, this is the first time LeBron is taking on the Warriors in a Lakers uniform and that right there should be enough to get you to watch.
The Lakers are starting to string together some wins, and the recent play of Lonzo Ball, specifically where he and LeBron both netted triple-doubles marking the first time a Lakers duo has done that since Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1982, is sure to raise some excitement from Lonzo Ball truthers.
The Warriors, who have been hampered by injuries to several players and team squabbles, are still the Warriors and on a nightly basis, still have the best lineup in the league. This matchup might not meet expectations if Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson go off for one of their scorched earth performances, but at least there’s some excitement around this matchup before it tips off.
These two teams may have never been legitimate rivals before, with one team being significantly better than the other at some point, but with LeBron in southern California, it hopefully sparks the beginning of a much-needed rivalry. Especially after Kobe Bryant ignited it by calling the Warriors faithful bandwagon fans.
If you only see one game Christmas Day this is undoubtedly the one to watch.