Christmas is a special time in the NBA as the league has a long history of scheduling compelling match-ups on this highly-anticipated holiday. For this year’s slate, ten teams are set to face-off in five captivating games that have their own unique storylines.

The first match-up of Christmas day (December 26, Manila time) will feature the surging Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks. These two franchises are two of the oldest in the league, but are also in the thick of the Eastern Conference postseason race. The Sixers are currently on a seven-game winning streak following the return of James Harden from a foot injury and are currently in fifth place in the East.

The Knicks, who have been rejuvenated by the offseason arrival of point guard Jalen Brunson, are right behind them in the standings in sixth place with an 18-15 record.

These two teams could very well meet in the first round of the postseason and it will be interesting to see how these two defensive-minded teams square up.


Following the Philadelphia-New York contest, the Dallas Mavericks will host the Los Angeles Lakers in the second game of the day. Both teams have not lived up to expectations so far this season, with the Mavericks only a game above .500 at 17-16 while the Lakers are further down the standings with a 13-19 record.

Dallas was expected to come out strong this season after last year’s surprise run to the Western Conference finals, yet they have struggled to adjust in the wake of Brunson’s departure. The Lakers have had it much worse and this game could very well be their last relevant national TV game if things do not change. The severity of last week’s injury to Anthony Davis remains a mystery and the hesitation of their front office to make a win-now move to bolster the team’s supporting cast has held them back.

The duel between Luka Doncic and LeBron James will be the saving grace of this Mavericks-Lakers game. Doncic is coming off a 50-point performance in their most recent win over the Houston Rockets and if he can carry over some of his momentum to this match, he could very well challenge Bernard King’s Christmas Day scoring record of 60 points which he achieved almost 40 years ago.

The Lakers’ historic rivals, the Boston Celtics, will take over in the following game where they will be facing the Milwaukee Bucks. This could very well be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals as these two teams have lorded it over their side of the league. They are currently the top two seeds in the East and have been seemingly alternating control of the top spot so far this season.

The battle of superstars between Jayson Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo may just be the biggest one of the day. A strong performance from either of these two players could help dictate the early sentiment in this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player race as well.

The penultimate game of Christmas Day will pit the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors against each other. These two teams have a budding rivalry that dates back to the 2021 play-in tournament, though the absence of Golden State’s star guard Stephen Curry will take off some of the luster from this showdown.


This game will give the Grizzlies a chance to solidify their place in the mind of the league’s fans as a legitimate contender while it will also be a chance for the Warriors’ supporting cast to prove that their team goes beyond the two-time NBA MVP Curry.

To cap off Christmas Day, the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets will play each other in the Rocky Mountains. Phoenix and Denver are raring to get over the hump and win the NBA title after many disappointing playoff runs in recent years. Phoenix has gone 3-7 in their last 10 games and this skid has lost them the lead of the Western Conference race. They will look to vanquish the Nuggets, who have taken their place as the first seed in the West, but that will not be an easy task.

Denver is finally healthy after an injury-riddled ‘21-’22 campaign and this only amplifies the passing abilities of reigning back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.

This meeting between two Western Conference powerhouses is the perfect way to cap off what promises to be yet another memorable Christmas Day for the NBA.