The NBA is reportedly eyeing December 22 as a potential date for the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, which is music to basketball fans’ ears and to team owners, as we’d get basketball back way sooner than expected and the league won’t miss out on that much money.
That would also make a lot of sense from a traditional standpoint, as we’d get the classic Christmas games that every single NBA fans wait for patiently year after year. Needless to say, those exciting matchups feature nothing but the cop of the creme of the NBA.
So, even though we’re yet to see how the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency will unfold, we can still make our predictions about the most exciting Christmas games we could have next season, and we’ll break them down for you in the following paragraphs:
5. Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
The Miami Heat completely dominated the Boston Celtics in the playoffs so you know that there are going to be some hard feelings right there. The Celtics are stacked and have a great coach in Brad Stevens, who knows how to make adjustments and dominate through the regular season.
The Heat are coming off a heartbreaking loss in the NBA Finals and would be extra motivated to prove that last year’s success wasn’t a fluke, and they’re likely to have another star under contract for next season. They’re both physical, great defensive teams, and watching them face off again would be a treat to the eyes.
4. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets
It’s not a secret to anybody that Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden just don’t like each other. They’ve been going back-and-forth for the MVP award for the past couple of years and there’s a lot of bad blood every single time they face each other, and this wouldn’t be the exception to that rule.
Moreover, Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets are coming off yet another disappointing end to their seasons and will be eager to prove that they’re contenders and not pretenders since the start of next year’s campaign, and there would be no better stage to do so than Christmas.
3. Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks
The Golden State Warriors are going to be back at full strength next season and that’s definitely a scary thought. They’ll have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and either Andrew Wiggins and the 2nd overall pick, or an All-Star they trade for.
As for the Dallas Mavericks, they’ve already proven to be one of the most exciting and promising teams in the league in last season’s playoff run. NBA fans all over the world would crave for a Luka Doncic vs. Stephen Curry Christmas-day matchup, and this would be the ultimate shootout, that’s for sure.
2. Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets
Ok, we can all agree that his one definitely has to happen. The Los Angeles Clippers were up 3-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals before blowing that lead to Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and the Denver Nuggets. Now, that’s got to be personal for Kawhi Leonard and his teammates.
There’s some bad blood between these two teams and the Clippers became a bit of a laughing stock around the league because of the Nuggets. They even fired coach Doc Rivers over that playoff loss, so they’re definitely going to have this game marked in their calendars.
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets
The reigning champions Los Angeles Lakers will spend all of next season trying to shut down that narrative of their title having an asterisk. The Brooklyn Nets will be on their first season at full strength and will be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
Those Christmas days matchups between LeBron James and Kevin Durant are becoming a tradition right now, and there’s absolutely no doubt that this would be the most exciting game every NBA fan could ask for just a couple of days into next season.