Your nameplate says “Santa Claus, Generous Giver of Gifts.” So tell me Mr. Claus, what NBA gift will we be receiving this Christmas?
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Steve Aschburner: I’d like to say we’d get an all-visitors’ victory day, because my sympathies are with the road teams on Christmas — like so many, I’ve known what it is to be in a faraway city away from family and friends on this special day. But expecting the Bucks, Thunder, Sixers, Lakers and Blazers all to win on other teams’ courts defies the odds. So I’ll go with this: Fans frustrated with James Harden’s tricky footwork and relentless parade to the foul line are going to get some satisfaction on Christmas. The heavy attention that came from Harden’s stepback-stepback non-travel-call against Utah the other night will be corrected on the national stage by the NBA officials, because seriously, the league needs to get that under control. So I predict a good day for one bearded fellow, a not-so-good day for another on Christmas.
Shaun Powell: Ho, ho, ho, all you basketball fans! Do you really need to stare hard at the unopened package sitting before you? Surely you know what’s inside the box (it’s Warriors-Lakers in prime time). Shake it and you’ll hear the roars of Warriors fans and the gasps following a LeBron dunk and rousing ovation after the eighth step-back three-pointer from Stephen Curry. Hold the box and feel the energy and anticipation. Now open it up in time to see Kevin Durant swishing the game-winner right before the sleigh bells ring. Merry Christmas!
John Schuhmann: Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee anything. But as things look right now, we’re getting healthy rosters for most of the teams involved, with Al Horford the only good player on a good team that we should be worried about. The Lakers are set to get Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo back later this week, and the Warriors got their stars back in time for their first regular-season meeting with LeBron James in a Lakers uniform. Now, we can only hope for close games in Houston, Boston and Oakland to make it a really fun evening.
Sekou Smith: I’ve already granted your Christmas wishes, NBA fans. You’ve seen the line up for the big day. I’m delivering a Lakers-Warriors matchup that gives everyone something to look forward to after you tear open those other gifts and polish off the food from Christmas brunch. LeBron and his Los Angeles Lakers invading Oracle Arena for a matchup against Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the two-time defending champions is the ideal way to spend the holiday enjoying the spectacle that always is LeBron facing the Warriors.