NBA Christmas Preview: Ranking The Games

The NBA’s schedule-makers had one job when it came time to construct the annual Christmas Day quintuple-header, and they didn’t screw it up.

That task? Make sure that the Cavaliers and Warriors, fresh off back-to-back Finals matchups, were pitted against each other on network television. The other four games are trivialities compared to the Warriors’ first shot at redemption after they frittered away a 73-win season with an unprecedented Finals collapse. 

While the rest of the slate lacks a signature showdown, the 10-team field is representative of what’s been a strong start to the 2016–17 season. Five of the league’s six best teams will take the court on the holiday, with the perma-snubbed Raptors being the only exception. As many as 15 members of the 2016 All-Star teams are scheduled to play, pending any late health-related scratches; James Harden is the only leading MVP candidate whose team is off, and Blake Griffin, who recently underwent knee surgery, is the only A-lister who will miss the party for health reasons (so far).

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