NBA

2022-23 NBA Christmas Day schedule: Lakers-Mavericks, Warriors-Grizzlies among matchups, compared

ADVERTISEMENT

The 2022-23 NBA schedule is expected to be released in the coming days, but there have already been several major game leaks on the league schedule. It was previously reported that the defending Golden State Warriors champion is should welcome LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on the season opener, scheduled for October 18.

Along with one of the opening night games on the league schedule, all five Christmas Day matchups were also reported. As one of the most important days on the NBA schedule, these games are usually star-studded and sometimes feature rematches of the previous year’s playoffs or pit two of the league’s top stars against each other. Although the regular season is already two months old by the time Christmas rolls around, the full game slate also serves as the unofficial start of the NBA season for some casual fans.

ADVERTISEMENT

While nothing has been made official yet, here are the five games slated to take place this Christmas:

The NBA has certainly managed to feature some of the league’s best stars young and old, and all of these reported matchups have compelling storylines.

The Warriors vs. Grizzlies game will be a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Semifinals, where both teams weren’t shy about talking trash, even long after the Warriors put the Grizzlies out. When the Warriors finally won the championship, several Golden State players made sure to take not-so-subtle jabs at the Grizzlies, including Draymond Green and Ja Morant hoping their two teams meet on Christmas Day. Well, Green and Morant got their wish, and this match is sure to be highly anticipated.

While the Lakers and Mavericks won’t have the impish tone of the Warriors and Grizzlies, it will feature the face of the league in LeBron James and one of the future faces of the league in Luka Doncic. Those two teams met over Christmas two seasons ago, which blew the Mavericks up in Los Angeles, but a lot has happened since that tie in 2020. The Mavericks are coming off a race to Western Conference Finals due to Doncic’s MVP-level performances throughout the playoffs, and the Lakers will attempt to return to the playoffs after missing the cut last season. It’s unclear how this game will play out given that both teams could still make roster changes before this game, but it should be more entertaining than the game we had two seasons ago.

The third game reported on this list could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals as the Nuggets host the Suns. Denver should be fully healthy with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. expected to be back in the starting lineup after both players missed all of last season with injuries. Then there’s reigning two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic at the center of it all. He’ll have help again as Denver hopes to prove its place in the championship conversation. The Nuggets would host the Suns, per the Denver Post, which is a rematch of the Western Conference Semifinals from two seasons ago. The Nuggets were without Murray in that playoff series against the Suns, so now they’re going to show Phoenix what it’s like to play against a full-strength Denver team.

The Knicks and Sixers game may not be the most exciting game on this list, but it features some of the league’s best players in Joel Embiid and James Harden. While the Knicks don’t have the brightest names on their roster to face Embiid and Harden, it will be a good test for a New York team hoping their big offseason acquisition of Jalen Brunson can elevate that roster to one. playoff contender.

The reported final game between the Celtics and Bucks is a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals. In what was one of the best playoffs a season ago, the Bucks lost to the Celtics in seven games, all without their second-best player in Khris Middleton who suffered an MCL sprain in the first round of the playoffs. . Middleton recently underwent wrist surgery in July but is expected to return towards the start of the season, so he’ll be ready to go when that rematch is expected to take place. However, this game could be very different if the Celtics manage to succeed in an exchange to land Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the Durant draw, but no matter what happens with that, this game – along with the rest of the full slate of games – is sure to be filled with excitement on Christmas Day. . .

ADVERTISEMENT