Christmas Day is historically an exciting day for the NBA to showcase many of the most talented athletes in the league. The 2022 Christmas Day schedule is slated to be filled with excitement, as five games are all taking place on the same day, each with its own unique matchups. In no particular order, we’ll cover all the games being played this year on Christmas Day and provide some analysis of the teams to look out for on the court, so you’re ready with your officially licensed sports apparel and memorabilia.
The NBA is currently in the midst of a revival, and no team is more popular than the new-look 76ers. Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and James Harden have been the faces of this renaissance, and that’s why it feels fitting they’ll be playing on Christmas Day. It’s not just that Philadelphia has become relevant again, though. The New York Knicks are likely to make a great showing this year with Derrick Rose, RJ Barrett, and Jalen Brunson on the court.
Though the 76ers are an obvious favorite with an MVP runner-up and previous MVPs in Joel Embiid and James Harden, Brunson’s talent and leadership on the court shouldn’t be overlooked. This will make for an interesting Christmas Day matchup.
The Lakers are coming off a not-so-strong season and have continuously failed to do well this summer, despite having LeBron James. They’re unlikely to be reaching the playoffs this year, but the Lakers still feature an exciting young core led by Westbrook and James.
Luka Doncic has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Mavericks this year, averaging 33.6 points per game. On Christmas Day, however, he’ll have to try to outsmart the Lakers’ veteran defense. If Doncic is able to outshine James, this could be the beginning of a historical shift in NBA history.
3. Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns
This game is likely to be one of the most watched on Christmas Day, as The Denver Nuggets are currently a top contender in the Western Conference, and the Phoenix Suns are at the top of the list. The Suns have an extremely talented roster led by Chris Paul but have an experienced coach in Monty Williams, who’s been able to bring out the best in his players.
The Nuggets take a lot of pride in their fast-paced offense and relentless defense, making them a great matchup for almost any team. This Christmas Day game will be full of excitement, and no one’s taking any prisoners on either side.
The Grizzlies have one of the most talented young cores in the league, with Ja Morant and Steven Adams leading the team this year. The Golden State Warriors, with stars like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on their side as well as other stars like Draymond Green, are a force to be reckoned with.
Although the Warriors have shined in previous seasons, the Grizzlies are ranking higher in the Western Conference and could just take home the victory on Christmas Day.
5. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
The Bucks have played well all year, and come Christmas Day, the team will get a chance to prove itself when they go head-to-head against the Celtics. As the number one team in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are a force to be reckoned with, making for an exciting matchup when they play the Bucks. Both teams should be able to put up a good fight, allowing them to show their potential to be the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Grab your sports collectibles and gear from Fanatics to show support for your favorite team before the game happens on Christmas.
To dive deeper into the analysis of the teams and players competing on Christmas Day, it’s important to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each team and the key players who represent them on the court. Here’s a detailed analysis of how each team ranks up this season as we approach the Christmas Day games:
Joel Embiid leads the 76ers, averaging 33.0 points per game. Maxey trails behind him with an average of 22.9 points per game and Harden is a close third with 21.9 points per game. Tobias Harris leads in assists, averaging 6.2 per game. As the fifth-ranked team in the Eastern Conference currently, the 76ers have some work to do to show they have title-winning potential. Regardless, they’re a strong contender for victory against the New York Knicks on Christmas Day.
Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle are both strong shooters, averaging around 21 points per game. Randle is also extremely competent in rebounding, averaging 9.2 rebounds each game. Brunson also leads in assists, with an average of 6.2 per game. It’s going to be difficult for the Knicks to overcome the star power of the 76ers, but Brunson and Randle may be able to squeak out a victory for the team if they can handle the pressure.
Point forward Anthony Davis leads the Lakers in points, averaging 27.4 per game. LeBron James isn’t far behind with 27 points per game. Russell Westbrook leads in assists with 7.6 per game on average. Anthony Davis also has an astounding 12.1 rebounds on average each game. If these three star players can work together on Christmas Day, the Lakers may be able to beat the Mavericks.
Luka Doncic, the powerhouse of the Mavericks, is leading the team with an average of 32.5 points per game. Christian Wood is trailing far behind in second place with 17.4 points per game on average. Doncic also leads his team in rebounds, steals, and assists. Having one unbeatable player is great, but is it enough to beat the Lakers on Christmas Day? Only time will tell.
The 19-11 Nuggets are currently first in the Northwest Division. Jokic and Murray lead the team in scoring with an average of 24.7 and 17.5 points per game, respectively. Jokic also leads the team in rebounds, steals, and assists. If they were facing any other team, it would likely be a clear victory, but the Suns are likely to put up a good match on Christmas Day as the two current top conference contenders face off.
Currently ranked number one in the Pacific Division, the Suns are the team to beat this season. Devin Booker leads the team in scoring with 28.0 points on average each game and 5.8 assists. Deandre Ayton also has shown his talent this season with an average of 17.6 points and 9.7 rebounds each game. On Christmas Day, the 19-13 Suns are hoping to show the Nuggets what a future title-winning team can do.
Ja Morant is the star point guard averaging 27 points per game this season. Desmond Bane is not far behind with 24.7 points per game on average. Steven Adams leads in rebounds with an average of 10.2 each game. The Grizzlies are currently first in the Southwest Division with a 19-11 record. They’re a favorite on Christmas Day against the Warriors, but it’s never wise to underestimate Curry and his team.
Stephen Curry is still an unstoppable force, averaging 30 points per game, but it hasn’t been enough to propel his eighth-ranked Golden State Warriors to victory. Even with the help of Wiggins and Thompson, each average 19.1 and 18.1 points per game. Kevon Looney is leading in rebounds with an average of 7.7 per game. Focusing on rebounding may be the key to victory for the Warriors.
The Bucks are currently ranked first in the Central Division and Eastern Conference. Giannis Antetokounmpo is leading his team this season with 31 points per game. He also leads in rebounds with 11.1 per game. Jrue Holiday leads the Bucks in assists with 7.6 on average per game. This game against the Celtics is likely to be one of the best matchups on Christmas Day, as both teams are showing a lot of potential this year.
The Celtics are relying heavily on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are each averaging 30.2 and 26.4 points per game, respectively. Marcus Smart leads in assists with 7.3 per game. The Celtics are currently ranked first in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference, making them the close favorite to win against the number two Bucks. With an 22-9 record, the Bucks have their work cut out for them on Christmas Day.
Be sure to watch all these games on Christmas Day to catch your favorite players on the court. We’re sure that they’ll each be action-packed and filled with slam dunks, free throws, and more. Make sure to stock up on gear from Fanatics to show support for your favorite teams and players while you watch from wherever you are this Christmas.