Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Day Games’

The ongoing saga between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies continues to play itself out on social media.

After Klay Thompson called out Memphis big man Jaren Jackson Jr. following Golden State’s NBA Finals victory Thursday, a fan tweeted that a Warriors-Grizzlies Christmas Day matchup in San Francisco was a near-shoo-in. Memphis star Ja Morant responded, saying he wants that game at home.

Warriors forward Draymond Green then retweeted Morant, saying, “The champs play at home.”

Morant agreed to travel to San Francisco for the potential matchup, saying the league needs to “book (that) shit.”

The Grizzlies pushed the Warriors in a six-game series in the Western Conference semifinals despite Morant missing time with injury. Golden State went on to complete its quest for a fourth championship in the last eight seasons.

The NBA’s slate of Christmas Day games this season will reportedly include an Eastern Conference playoff rematch and the King donning new colors to square off with his fiercest rivals once again.

On Dec. 25, the Boston Celtics will battle the Philadelphia 76ers, the New York Knicks host the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden, and LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers visit the Bay Area to take on the reigning champion Golden State Warriors, league sources told the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

The Portland Trail Blazers will also hit the road to face the Utah Jazz, and the Houston Rockets will host the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Haynes and Tim MacMahon.

The league will release its national television schedule for Christmas, the first week of the 2018-19 regular season, and Martin Luther King Day on Wednesday.

Boston had Philadelphia’s number in the second round, taking their best-of-seven series in five games before falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals.

New York has played a league-record 52 times on Christmas, with an overall mark of 22-30 (.423). It was in 1977 when Milwaukee last took the floor on Dec. 25 – the longest gap of any team to have played at least once on the holiday.

The Trail Blazers haven’t competed on Christmas since 2010 in a losing effort to the Warriors, while Utah has been held out since 1997.

The Rockets-Thunder matchup is a rematch from last year’s slate, which Oklahoma City took at Chesapeake Energy Arena by five points. Carmelo Anthony switches sides this time around, as the 10-time All-Star reportedly came to a verbal agreement to sign with Houston on Tuesday.

While with Cleveland last season, James came out on the losing end against Golden State in the Finals for the third time in four tries, this time via a clean sweep. 2018 would mark the fourth campaign in a row that a James-led squad will face the Warriors on Dec. 25.

The Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies are the only franchises that have yet to play on Christmas.

His Philadelphia 76ers may have taken down the New York Knicks on Christmas Day, but JJ Redick wasn’t exactly happy about it.

Following the contest, the 33-year-old guard sounded off about his distaste for basketball stars having to play on Dec. 25.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to once again say for I believe the 10th time, I’m not a fan of playing on Christmas,” Redick said, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. “I wish we had this holiday for our families. I understand we are entertainers, we have to provide this for all the basketball fans out there.”

Redick has now played in eight editions of the NBA’s Christmas Day special over a 12-year career.

He isn’t the first player to detest playing on Christmas Day, though the majority of players appear to relish the opportunity. Earlier this week, Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan chided the league for not scheduling his side for the holiday special.

Despite not wanting to be there, Redick still turned in a solid Christmas Day outing on the court. He finished with 24 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes in the 105-98 win.