The NBA is set to begin next Dec. 22, a couple of days before Christmas. Despite the short offseason (71 days), everybody is excited to see what the league is going to bring next season, with some teams returning to compete after a not so good 2019/20 campaign. The team to beat will be the Lakers and their Christmas Day matchup will be very important this year.
It'll be one of the first games of the season but seeing LeBron James, Anthony Davis competing against a team that can actually dethrone them is always attractive. It was said that a Lakers-Heat or Lakers-Nets was going to take place this day until ESPN's insider Brian Windhorst told otherwise. During a recent appearance on ESPN’s ‘The Jump’ Podcast, Jorge Sedano threw a couple of ideas for these matches but Windhorst revealed the league was planning to 'keep things local'.
“Well, here we go again with me having to be Scrooge and having to bring the realist. I think those are fun matchups, Jorge. But that necessitates two teams going coast to coast in the first week of the season. The NBA is looking to reduce travel by 25% or more this year. So, I think they’re gonna try to keep teams local, especially on Christmas.” explained Brian, via Essentially Sports.
“Now yes, as you mentioned Rachel, there’s going to be ring night, which will be on TNT, and then there’s going to be Christmas Day games, which will be on ABC and ESPN. I’m sure there’s having negotiations with our bosses and bosses over in turn to figure that out. But I think that the game that you will see as the centerpiece game will be Warriors and Lakers.”
He then explained why the league would do this and the reasons were understandable. The Lakers are the hottest team in the league right now. The Warriors are the team expected to challenge them for the throne of the West and seeing players like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson returning against the Lakers will be incredible to watch.
“The reason that is because not only do you bring Steph Curry and Klay Thompson back, the international audience has not seen in a while. But also you’re gonna have, unless the Warriors make a big trade, the top three picks in this draft to be displayed possibly in this first game. It could be James Wiseman’s first game, in addition to the defending champion Lakers. That’s a delicious matchup,” stated Brian.
“Having a five o’clock which is two o’clock on the west coast. I’m not saying I don’t like Lakers-Heat, Jorge but I think it’s more likely the West Coast team stays out here.”
This is indeed a great matchup. Even though some people wanted to see a rematch of the 2020 NBA Finals with the Heat or LeBron going at it against Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, this is the best matchup to see on Christmas day. To be honest, I can't wait to see that.