What to expect from this year’s quintuple-header at the NBA Christmas 2023.

NBA Christmas 2023: what to know about this year’s quintuple-header.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics will take on LeBron James of the LA Lakers during the NBA’s Christmas Day quintuple-header.

Curry v Jokić! Tatum v LeBron! Luka v KD! The biggest day of the NBA regular season tips off on Monday with a full slate of blockbuster matchups

It’s that time of year again. When people gather around the Christmas tree to exchange gifts and then gather around the big-screen television to watch the NBA’s annual slate of games. This year, as in the past, hoops heads are treated to a handful of excellent matchups. So, here below, we wanted to dive into those contests to offer some perspective and some predictions.

Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks (12pm EST/5pm GMT)

Oftentimes, the earliest game on the NBA Christmas Day calendar is a mere appetizer, but this one is chalk full of hearty interest. The Bucks got off to a bit of a slow start this season, but they quietly sit near the top of the Eastern Conference standings today thanks to the play of marquee superstars Giannis Antetokounmpo and the newly acquired Damian Lillard. The Knicks, a perennial Christmas Day participant, are also squarely in the playoff picture thanks to team leaders Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson (and his cohort of Villanova University pals Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart). While Milwaukee has to be favored for its top-notch talent, the gritty team from Manhattan could steal this one late, if Big Game Brunson gets hot. Not to mention, the New York City MSG crowd should be hyped for the matchup.

Prediction Bucks by four

X-factor Immanuel Quickley, the streaky bench slasher for New York

Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets (2.30pm EST/7.30pm GMT)

Over the past few years, the Warriors and Nuggets have matched up multiple times in the playoffs. But this latest regular-season tilt sees the two squads in very different positions. While Denver, the league’s reigning champion, is off to a strong start (recent Nikola Jokić ejections notwithstanding), Golden State are reeling somewhat thanks to the indefinite suspension of trash-talking star Draymond Green, who, in many ways, is the team’s heart and soul. Yet the Warriors, fresh off a big win at home against Boston on Tuesday, remain in the mix when it comes to a possible postseason appearance, thanks to the incandescent sharpshooter Stephen Curry and a slew of improving youngsters. But since this game is in Colorado’s Mile High City, the edge goes to Jokić and his confident supporting cast, which includes the likes of guard Jamal Murray and bruiser Aaron Gordon.

Prediction Nuggets by eight

X-factor Chris Paul, the cagey veteran offensive initiator for Golden State

Golden State’s Stephen Curry, left, will run it back against Nikola Jokić and Aaron Gordon on Christmas Day.

Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers (5pm EST/10pm GMT)

These two teams will forever be linked in basketball lore. Whether talking the battles between Bill Russell and Jerry West’s squads or those between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson or, more recently, between Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, Lakers v Celtics remains the quintessential rivalry in NBA lore. Which is why the league put this sumptuous game smack-dab in the middle of its Christmas Day feast. Featuring big name stars this go-round like the ageless LeBron James, Anthony Davis, MVP candidate Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, this game should be a back-and-forth slugfest with neither team wanting to cede ground. Yet, there will have to be a winner (this isn’t the NFL, after all). Though the Celts are at the top of the East and the Lakers are in the middle of the pack in the West, the contest should remain close to the final buzzer. Edge to the purple and gold home team (Boston does have trouble closing on the road, after all).

Prediction Lakers by one

X-factor Austin Reaves, the starter-turned-sixth-man with a sense of the moment for LA

Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat (8pm EST/1am GMT)


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