nba

12 steps to enjoy Christmas Day NBA & NFL games


Author: Matt EllentuckPublished: 12/22/22
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The holiday season is meant for taking a break from the exhausting parts of being a person on Earth. It's a time to celebrate with family and loved ones. It's a time of self reflection, joy, and comfort... Unless you're a sports fan — especially one in 2022.

Football Sunday falls on NBA Christmas Day for the first time since 2016 (and last until 2033). This weekend is going to a marathon, folks, and to survive, you must treat it as one. Start stretching your fingers, cracking your back, and changing the batteries. Here's how to plan for the ultimate Christmas Sunday in sports.

Sunday, December 25: Christmas Day

1. Spend time with your family (9:01 am ET - 11:58 am ET)

This step is crucial as this small chunk of time will be the only fresh non-sports air you have all day. Pay attention to your parents, kids, siblings, significant others, friends etc., exchange some gifts if necessary, and eat a big ol' meal because we've got games to watch.

Importance meter: 200/10

2. Walk to the couch (11:59 am ET)

Don't run. Remember, it's a long day.

Importance meter: 10/10

3. Sixers at Knicks (12 pm ET on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)

It's go time and for once... the Knicksmas game might be worth watching? The Knicks won eight of their first nine December games, all in a row including wins over the Warriors and Cavaliers. Don't get too attached to this game, though. It's almost football time.

Importance meter: 7/10

4. Packers at Dolphins (1 pm ET on Fox)

Y'all have that remote handy? The early afternoon on the east coast will be your first test of channel-hopping, sweating, and hydration. Luckily the stakes aren't super high, here. While the Dolphins (8-6) are fighting to keep their playoff spot, the Packers (6-8) are all but virtually out.

Importance meter: 6/10

5. Lakers at Mavericks (2:30 pm ET on ABC/ESPN)

Here comes NBA game No. 2 between LeBron James and Luka Doncic. No Anthony Davis for this one, so that's a bummer, but The King always shows up on Christmas Day and Luka is always here for drama.

Importance meter: 6/10

6. Broncos at Rams (4:30 pm ET on CBS/Nickelodeon)

Nobody tell Ciara's husband, but this game literally does not matter! You'll have to either be a Broncos or Rams fan, be in your fantasy football playoffs OR place a nice lil bet on something to have interest in this game, which has legitimately no playoff implications. Enjoy Baker Mayfield time! Or don't!

Importance meter: 0/10

7. Bucks at Celtics (5 pm ET on ABC/ESPN)

Giannis! Jayson Tatum! Maybe an appearance from Tatum's five-year-old son, Deuce! Celtics-Bucks will have all the feelings of a conference finals with a wintry fun aesthetic. This game might crank up the intensity meter all the way. Marcus Smart is playing, after all.

Importance meter: 9/10

8. FOOD TIME (~7:30 pm ET)

Ok, this is a big one, and the only gap of time (barring overtime) where the NBA and NFL take a break. Feast, pee, shower. Do what you need to, and do it quick.

Importance meter: 16/10

9. Grizzlies at Warriors (8 pm ET on ABC/ESPN)

Ok, there is a big gigantic bummer in that Steph Curry won't be playing. However, Ja Morant and the Grizzlies are one of the most must-watch sports teams of the season, plus the game should feature meme extraordinaire, Klay Thompson!

Importance meter: 6/10

10. Buccaneers at Cardinals (8:20 pm ET on NBC)

Somehow the 6-8 Bucs have a solid shot at making the playoffs, but they won't make it there with more confidence than a "Well, we have Tom Brady" tagline. And in 2022 that doesn't mean much.

On the flip side, the Kyler Murray-less, Zac Ertz-less, Colt McCoy-less, Trace McSorely-starting Cardinals will definitely be playing football.

Importance meter: 5/10

11. Suns at Nuggets (10:30 pm ET on ABC/ESPN)

Potential three-time MVP Nikola Jokic against Devin Booker and Chris Paul!? This game has all the components to be one of the day's most competitive, and you must stay awake! That note was mostly for the east coasters, but west coasters I'm looking at you, too. Nap time was when the Broncos had the ball.

Importance meter: 9/10

12. Bedtime (~1 am ET)

You did it <3. Happy holidays my friend.

Importance meter: 25/10


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