Sure the NFL has Thanksgiving, but Christmas is all about basketball (and family and good cheer, or whatever). Between noon and 1am(ish) EST, there will be five NBA games to distract you from discussing Donald Trump and/or The Force Awakens.
5. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm
This game will be terrible. Skip this game. Egg nog is better than this game.
4. New Orleans Pelicans vs. Miami Heat, 12:00pm
The Pelicans entered this season full of promise—this was supposed to be Anthony Davis’s MVP moment, the year he challenged LeBron and Steph for the MVP. But injuries decimated New Orleans—they’ve been playing better but they’re 9-19. Miami is weirdly fun—Hassan Whiteside is nuts, D-Wade is back, and everyone loves Chris Bosh again. These are two flawed teams and no NBA team has ever played well at noon, but this could be fun.
3. Chicago Bulls vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 2:30pm
Any team featuring Russell Westbrook, the closest thing the NBA has to a trickster god, is a must watch team. (Kevin Durant is also pretty good.) Both the Bulls and Thunder have new coaches and are still figuring things out, but Russ will do Russ things and you can argue with your uncle about Derrick Rose, who is terrible but not as bad as your uncle thinks he is.
2. San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets, 8:00pm
I had a hard time watching the Rockets last season and they’re at least six times more unwatchable this season, thanks in large part to James Harden, who has returned to 2014 form (out of shape, checked out, selfish) and the addition of Ty Lawson, who’s only good with the ball, which Harden would prefer to keep to himself. But the Spurs are beautiful. Watch the Spurs and marvel at the beauty of basketball. Also, Kahwi Leonard is going to frustrate the hell out of Harden.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors, 5:00pm
There is a strong possibility that this finals rematch will be a blowout—it’s always safe to bet that the Warriors will blow out whoever they’re playing. But this is a LeBron revenge game and LeBron revenge games are almost always great. At the very least, Steph Curry is guaranteed to do at least three things that you didn’t think were possible and Draymond Green is guaranteed to cause Tristan Thompson and/or Timofey Mozgov to have a nervous breakdown. Skip Christmas dinner. Watch this game.