For many people, this slate of games is the NBA’s opening day. I wholeheartedly disagree with that, but it makes sense. The NFL is slowing down, the bowl games haven’t gotten good yet, and it’s not March so college ball is only slowly ramping up. This holiday is a yearly showcase for the best players and teams, and 2015 is no different. I’ll walk you through this whole day, how to plan around the action and what to expect.
Note: This will only work on Central Time. If it doesn’t apply to you, you can figure out the addition and subtraction easy enough.
New Orleans at Miami 11:00 AM Central (ESPN)
This runs into dinner on the east and breakfast in the west. Central, this is why you plan ahead. Wake up at a reasonable hour, dig into your gifts, then focus on the task at hand and get your food started. You can get side dishes ready or even cooked before game time. Whatever your choice of meat is should be in the oven before game time. (It better not be turkey, you monster.) Time out the meal; I would try to fit it right after the game. You’ll have plenty of commercial breaks to make finishing touches.
As for the game itself, here’s Anthony Davis’s shot to break out. Despite a horrible start to his injury-riddled Pelicans, he’s still a freak of nature. You may have to explain to family members why this oddly shaped monster is on the court. You’ll definitely have to explain the unibrow. Good luck. You may also realize how good Miami can be. They’re already 2nd in the east, but still haven’t coalesced fully yet. Watching Hassan Whiteside battle Davis will be like Godzilla vs. Mothra. Please be careful not to get distracted and forget about the meat in the oven.
Chicago at Oklahoma City 1:30 PM Central (ABC)
If you’ve followed my plan you’ll probably miss the beginning of this game. That’s alright. Some sacrifices will be inevitable today. It’s not ideal but you only have so many options. Try to position your seat at the table to get a sightline to the TV at least.
These are two teams near the top of their conferences who still have work to do to catch up to the frontrunners. They have something to prove. They both feature rookie coaches and star players coming off injuries. Freak athletes Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will be going all out. It’s going to be wild.
Cleveland at Golden State 4:00 PM Central (ABC)
Here it is. I don’t care what time zone you’re in. This is unmissable. If you miss this you’re the victim of some next-level familial guilt. I’m truly sorry about that. You might want to find a better family. In the meantime, you’ll have to turn to your old friend, DVR. P.S. – Stay off Twitter.
Do I really have to explain this game to you? Curry. LeBron. Rematch. Christmas. Basketball. Add whatever words you want, those are the only ones you need. Just watch the damn game.
San Antonio at Houston 7:00 PM Central (ESPN)
There’s a bit of a gap preceding this game, take advantage of it. It should be plenty of time to reheat whatever and snarf it down. You may need some wine to calm yourself down from the basketball tsunami you just witnessed. And you’re in luck, this game should be slightly more calm.
Not that it won’t be exciting, just slower paced. The Spurs don’t care. They score every time they have the ball anyway, they’ll take as long as they want. Houston is in a fight for its life in the West; they really need a big win like this. It will be a battle, but as this is San Antonio it could turn into a slaughter. Watch it like Caesar in the Coliseum if need be.
Los Angeles at Los Angeles 9:30 PM Central (ESPN)
If you did dig into the wine earlier, you’re probably at a decent level right now. That’s good, use that. Either way, stack up a plate of cookies, pour some milk, and use that sugar to stay awake. This will be a weird game.
It’s Kobe last Christmas game. His Lakers are terrible. The Clippers are technically still pretty good, but sometimes they’re awful. I have no idea how this will go. Some people are dreaming of a white Christmas, which is stupid. Don’t be ridiculous. Focus your dreams on Kobe dropping 50 and pissing off the Clips. You couldn’t ask for a better gift on Christmas.