First off, Happy Christmas from all at TalkBasket – we hope you’re enjoying the festive period and getting ready for the traditional NBA schedule. Some big games coming up later so here are TB’s five things to watch out for.
1 – UGLY, UGLY UNIFORMS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF A TREND
If you have seen this advert…
… you will know that the first thing you notice this evening is that the players will be sporting short sleeved uniforms to promote the NBA’s ‘BIG’ promotion.
Personally, the idea of short sleeved uniforms in basketball should be banned and that the Golden State Warriors, who play in the last game of the schedule against the Los Angeles Clippers should be fined in some way for debuting them last season.
Either way, it’s only for a day … or will it be? The horrible trend of short sleeved jerseys, a norm for some teams could continue on. Can you imagine if the Euroleague followed suit and ditched vests. The 2014 Final Four in Milan could feature ‘Final Four short sleeved uniforms’.
Let’s hope not though.
2 – NO KOBE VS LEBRON (AND NO D-ROSE)
When Kobe Bryant came back against the Toronto Raptors, people were by then already talking about the Christmas Day match-up between the Lakers and the Heat, billed as the most anticipated of the five games and the contest featuring arguably basketball’s two most recognised stars in Bryant and LeBron James.
But just nearly two weeks before tonight’s blockbuster clash, Bryant, who was almost fully recovering from an Achilles injury is now out with a fractured tibia and reportedly has been advised to sit the rest of the season.
One star on the shelf and unfortunately, it will be another Christmas Day schedule without Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose who is out for the season. The Bulls are at the Brooklyn Nets in the first of the first games this evening.
3 – SAN ANTONIO ARE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
Believe it or not, but the San Antonio Spurs will be hosting a Christmas Day game for the first time EVER tonight. It’s only taken the Spurs fans eight years to see their heroes for Christmas.
They currently own a 4-3 record over the festive season and play the Houston Rockets in the night’s fourth game.
4 – NO FINALS REMATCH
With the Spurs hosting the Rockets and the Heat at the Lakers, there will be no Christmas Day Finals rematch that has almost been a mini tradition in itself since the lockout that ended in 2011.
5 – CARMELO HAS DURANT’S NUMBER
OK, OK, We have sort of stolen this one from ESPN’s top ten list for this year’s games on Christmas Day but it’s an impressive statistic coming from Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony; two players who have yet to win a championship ring despite their superstar status.
“Despite the Thunder’s dominance of late, in the 12 games Anthony has faced Durant over the past seven years, the elder Melo is 11-1, according to Elias, with the lone loss coming in double overtime when Anthony was still on the Nuggets and the Thunder didn’t yet exist. In those matchups, Anthony, currently the No. 2 scorer in the NBA, has averaged 30.2 points on 50.2 percent shooting, while Durant, currently the No. 1 scorer in the NBA, has averaged 26.8 points on 42.4 percent shooting. It should be noted, though, that Anthony has played Durant just once in the past two seasons.
Of course, all of that may not have mattered even if Melo were the pinnacle of physical health: The Knicks (9-18) are 0-8 against the Western Conference this season; the Thunder (22-5) are 7-1 against the Eastern Conference.”
The Thunder travel to the Big Apple in the night’s second game.