The NBA is in a terrific place right now. Ripe with talent, both young and old, the league is putting out an incredible product each and every night. Just look at the newfound rivalry between the Suns and Pelicans and the added chapter of Devin Booker dropping 58 on the Pelican’s heads, a week after a post-game shoving match. 

Or maybe you prefer bigger markets doing well? Look no further than NYC, both the Knicks and Nets are 6 game winning streaks. Like upsets? How about the Orlando Magic who absolutely own the East ‘favorite’ Boston Celtics (and are on a 6 game streak of their own) Whether you’re a hoops head or a casual, this season has had you covered. All leading up to the early season apex that is the NBA on Christmas. 

Each year we are treated to a slate filled with the league’s top talent and top teams for a marathon of action to have on while you’re eating cookies and unwrapping presents. The holiday season is filled with nostalgia so let’s look back at some of the top NBA Christmas Day moments of all time.

Shaq’s Return

How can you top Shaq vs Kobe, on Christmas, the summer after Shaq was traded to Miami? You can’t. To date, the most-watched Christmas day game in NBA history is Shaq’s highly anticipated return to LA. A battle that lived up to the hype. Kobe did Kobe things, going out and dropping 42 against his former running mate. Shaq put up 24-11 with 3 blocks, but also fouled out, leaving his new partner in crime, Dwyane Wade to close out the game in overtime, and with Kobe missing a shot at the buzzer, he did just that. As an NBA fan who came up on 2000’s hoops, nothing tops this one. 

Frenzied Finals Rematch

Christmas 2016 gave us the gift of a finals rematch between the Warriors and Cavs with the addition of Kevin Durant. This game did not disappoint. KD and LeBron each went for 30, and this game was close throughout, including a frenzy of back-and-forth action in the final minutes. All culminated in a Kyrie fade-away jumper to take the lead with less than 4 seconds to go.

Wilt Dominates, Takes an L

Unlike our first two games, I can’t claim to have watched this one, but the box score numbers are eye-popping. Wilt went for 59 points and 36 rebounds and lost. Yes, lost, by 1 in overtime to the New York Knicks behind a 40-piece meal from Richie Guerin…who? The stats alone deserve a shoutout. 

A Gift For You

This Christmas, we’re giving you a shot to get in on the Christmas day action and stuff your stocking with a share of $5,000 in prizes. 

We’re launching a new way to play, a Starting 5 pool. If you’ve ever seen the viral post prompting you to set a lineup with $15, here’s your chance to put your money where your mouth is. Well, sort of, it’s free-to-play. Anyway, back to the game, it’s simple. You select and build your positionless lineup of 5 starters with your $15 budget, earn points for different stats, and try to be the top scorer. Players are divided into $5-$1 tiers and you can fill your lineup however you’d like. 

Sign up today and watch the buckets fall like snowflakes.

Week 9 Pick Recaps

Picks – Season (17-9)

Raptors – L – Never bet against the beam.

Grizzlies – W 

Suns – L

Survivor – Season (13-5)

Suns –  L

Kings – W  

Survivor Traps (7-9)

Spurs  – L

Hornets – L

Week 10 Pool Picks 

After a strong starting and 9-0 stretch for a few weeks, we’ve hit a shooting slump, let’s us the holiday spirit to bounce back.

Game Picks 

Knicks vs Sixers 12/25 – The Knicks are here baby the Knicks are here! Two teams that are surging and climbing the East standings right now, give me the Knickerbockers at home on Christmas Day.

Bucks @ Celtics 12/25  – Losers of 2 straight and 5-5 in their last 10, are the Celtics showing cracks? Give me Giannis on the road as he plays the Grinch for all Boston fans.

Nuggets vs. Suns 12/25  – These teams are deadlocked in the standings and will likely be in for a battle with the X-mas nightcap game. I’m giving the edge to the Joker at home. Nuggets.

Survivor

Mavs over Lakers 12/25 – LeBron vs Luka is the only draw here with both teams at the bottom of the West. It should be fun either way, with AD out, lock in the Mavs at home.

Grizzlies over Warriors 12/25 – No Steph. The Grizzlies are red hot. Lock in the bears from Memphis.

Survivor Trap

Heat vs Bulls 12/20 – Yes, Miami just won four in a row, and the Bulls have lost four in a row. In spite of that, you still can’t trust this Heat team, AVOID.

Jazz vs Wizards 12/22 – The Wizards have lost 10 in a row and are on the road, why should you worry? Losing 11 in a row is hard to do and the Jazz have cooled off from their massively hot start, stay away.

And now for our main event, my Xmas 5 lineup

Starting Five Picks

Luka Doncic $5-  Don’t overthink this, if you’re using a top-tier guy, it’s Luka. He’s going to put on a show for Christmas.

Giannis Antentokounpo $5 –  Doubling down on the top tier, the stars shine when the lights are brightest and Giannis is going to eat in Boston.

Jordan Poole $2 –  No Steph and on national TV? We might see 20 3PT attempts from JP, give me his volume at a value.

Steven Adams $2 – Having spent heftily on two $5 players, I need to find some value, and Adams supplies that with ancillary stats, he can get points without having to score.

Tim Hardaway Jr $1 –  Since being re-inserted as a starter, THJ has been heating up, pair him with Luka and count your Christmas cash.

Remaining Budget: $0

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About Author

Dan Childs

Lifelong Yinzer, Daniel bleeds black and gold, not black and yellow as the 2010 Wiz Khalifa hit got wrong. An avid NBA and NFL fan, he provides his view on various topics from 'what-if' scenarios to which players you should be rolling out in your fantasy pools week-in and week-out.

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