NBA Christmas Game by Game Predictions

NBA fans are already well aware of one of the gifts they are receiving tomorrow and that is the gift of NBA basketball. The league will open a shortened 66 game season on Christmas Day with a slate of five matchups including a rematch of the NBA Finals.

Since NBA fans already know what they’re getting on Christmas, this should not spoil the surprise too much. Here is a game by game prediction of what will unfold in the NBA on Christmas Day. Enjoy.

New York vs Boston 12:00 ET on TNT

Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire will welcome the Boston Celtics to MSG to kick off the new NBA season.

The first game is an Atlantic Division clash between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics. The Knicks are primed for their first full season with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire leading the troops. The team also added NBA Champion, center Tyson Chandler to aid what has become known as an anemic defensive unit. The Knicks are certainly not a deep squad but any team with two perennial All-Stars should certainly be able to compete.

The Knicks will go up against the Boston Celtics. This is a bit of a crossroads season for the Celtics. Their window of opportunity is closing rapidly and this will most likely be their last season to compete for anything substantial. The Celtics big three is aging fast as Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are all in their mid thirties and there does not seem to be a crop of young Celtics waiting in the wings to take over. Their best young assets are Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. Green is dealing with a heart condition which has ended his 2011-2012 season and the team attempted to trade Rondo in an attempt to acquire Chris Paul.

Prediction: These are two teams that appear to be headed in opposite directions at the moment but both are still solid enough to compete and will provide a good game on Christmas Day. Knicks 101 Celtics 92

Dallas vs Miami 2:30 ET on ABC

The Mavericks defeated the Heat in six games last season in the NBA Finals.

The second game of the day is a rematch of the NBA Finals as the Heat will head to Dallas to take on the new-look Mavericks. The Miami Heat will go in lead by the league’s most notable trio, Dwayne Wade, Lebron James and Chris Bosh. Head coach, Erik Spoelstra has a new deal and the team has added veterans Shane Battier and Eddy Curry to help round out their rotation. No matter what the additions are, the Heat are once again in championship or bust mode. Expectations are that Wade will take over as the leader of this team while James will work to shed his villain persona to focus on winning a title. Bosh will have to step up and make sure that he is not the forgotten part of the big three.

The Mavs are coming off the first championship in team history and they certainly look like a different team this year. Key pieces to their championship puzzle from last season are gone such as Tyson Chandler, Deshawn Stevenson, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler. The team has added Vince Carter and Lamar Odom in an effort to give Dirk Nowitzki a solid enough supporting cast to try to compete once again.

Prediction: Championship rematches are always a happy way to spend the holidays but the big three should have their way with the new look Mavericks. Heat 105 Mavericks 90

Los Angeles Lakers vs Chicago  5:00 ET on ABC

Derrick Rose and the Bulls will head to L.A. to take on the Lakers.

The third matchup of the day pairs The Bulls lead by Derrick Rose and the Lakers lead by Kobe Bryant. The Lakers and Bryant have a mission this season to assert themselves as L.A.’s number one team. Bryant injured his wrist against the Clippers in the preseason and there are many who believe that he should sit out for a couple of weeks but Bryant seems determined to take the court against the Bulls. With the Lakers losing Odom, and being without Andrew Bynum for the first four games due to suspension, it will be a tough road to start the season for L.A. Not to mention, they have a new head coach, Mike Brown.

Chicago is lead by last season’s MVP Derrick Rose. The Bulls are looking to take another step this season but have not been able to add onto the roster substantially. The team did add Richard Hamilton but for the most part, they are virtually the same team. They were connected to rumors about Dwight Howard but nothing has come to fruition on that front.

Prediction: The Lakers are a much different team and age is beginning to become a factor for them. There is a chance that the Lakers could be on the outside looking in when the playoff teams are decided. Bulls  95 Lakers 83

Oklahoma City vs Orlando 8:00 ET on ESPN

Kevin Durant and the Thunder will welcome Dwight Howard and the Magic to OKC for Christmas.

As your settling in for Christmas dinner the Orlando Magic will be taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City. Dwight Howard is still a member of the Magic despite trade rumors that had him linked to the Nets, Lakers and Bulls. Howard will lead a group which no longer features Gilbert Arenas as he was one of the NBA’s victims of the amnesty clause. It seems like it will only be a matter of time until Howard moves on to another team as he is still asserting that he wants a trade.

The Thunder are one of the NBA’s trendiest teams and it is becoming time for them to shed the youth factor as an excuse for not winning. The Thunder made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season only to lose to the eventual NBA champions. This season they are returning all their major pieces including Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. This will be the team’s first season with Kendrick Perkins manning the center spot for a full year and there is no reason not to expect them back toward the top of the Western Conference.

Prediction: It’s hard to win when your star does not want to play for you. The Magic did not do enough to keep Howard happy in Orlando and it will show until he is dealt. Thunder 98 Magic 79

Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Clippers 10:30 ET on ESPN

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Chauncey Billups will look to usher the Clippers into a new era of relevance.

This may not be the California matchup the NBA would schedule if they could redo things, but the league got the NBA’s newest tandem on the court on Christmas Day. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the Co-Mayors of what is now known as Lob City and they have the opportunity to turn Laker-town into Clipper-town. Not to be outdone by the Angels’ acquisition of Albert Pujols, the Clippers have acquired Paul and added Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler as well. All of a sudden the laughing stock franchise of the NBA is now a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.

The Warriors are pretty much in this game due to time zone issues. There is a bit of a rivalry here, but the Clippers acquisitions have them on a different level then the Warriors. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are still the leaders of the team and expect a boost from David Lee. Mark Jackson will make his NBA coaching debut but do not expect much from the Warriors this season. This is still a franchise that is far from competing.

Prediction: This game may be getting played in Oakland, but expect a major dose of Lob City. Clippers 107 Warriors 88

So there you have it NBA fans. Sip egg nog, open presents and watch a full day of NBA basketball. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Brotherly Love Sports.

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