Christmas Day is always one of the biggest days on the NBA calendar as the day will be filled with excellent basketball matchups.
This season, the biggest matchup undoubtedly takes place in the bay area as LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers face Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.
This is the first time this season the two sides will square off, but it is the fourth year in a row that James will face the Warriors on Christmas. Golden State has won two of the three.
This year’s clash will obviously be different however, with the young Lakers squad providing a much different challenge than LeBron’s previous veteran-led Cavaliers teams.
Curry in particular believes the game and atmosphere surrounding it will be fun, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
“It’ll be a fun atmosphere, a fun game [with a] Bay Area and Southern California vibe kind of reignited a little bit so it should be fun.”
Durant is also looking forward to the Christmas matchup, pointing out some individual Lakers who, if playing well, could give the Warriors some problems:
“They’re playing fast,” said Durant, who had 35 points and 12 rebounds against the Clippers. “They’re playing just energetic basketball. You can tell that they [before] this last stretch, they were having a nice little winning streak and just building momentum. Obviously LeBron is a force on both ends of the floor, with his strength, passing ability and scoring ability, it just opens it up for everyone else. “I feel like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and JaVale, if JaVale is playing, those guys have grown and gave them some great minutes and Kyle Kuzma is able to be that second guy behind LeBron so we got our work cut out for us.”
The Lakers will certainly be the underdog in this game. As Curry noted, the atmosphere surrounding will be unbelievable, and something most of the Lakers have yet to experience. Not to mention James’ team comes in having lost four of their last six games.
Nonetheless, the Lakers have tended to play up to their competition and gave the Warriors tons of trouble last season. LeBron doesn’t believe this game is a measuring stick for this team, but if the young players can play at that level again on Christmas, along with the addition of James, this could be a game to remember.
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