NBA Christmas Day 2013 viewing guide: The best games are late

USA TODAY Sports

We lead you through the Christmas schedule, good, bad and ugly. This post is adapted from this week's Sunday Shootaround.

Christmas Day is arguably the NBA's biggest regular-season event and we've got no less than five games on the docket. Unfortunately, the schedule-makers did us no favors with some of these matchups, but we'll play along.

Bulls at Nets, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Take your time opening presents. Enjoy a late brunch. Go out and make a snowman. There's nothing to see here except two beaten down teams staring at the harsh glare of tattered expectations and broken dreams. But hey, maybe Kevin Garnett and Joakim Noah can get into the holiday spirit. Just keep those courtside mics on a 35-second delay.

More on these teams: Blog a Bull Nets Daily

Thunder at Knicks, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC

This will be hyped as Kevin Durant vs. Carmelo Anthony and that's fine as far as it goes, but it might be time to introduce the Sunday Shootaround Drinking Game to help us get through this one. Take it slow, we've got all day.

Drink once whenever:
Mike Woodson stares incredulously at the court
Andrea Bargnani takes an ill-advised jumper
J.R. Smith takes a shot, any shot
The Knicks botch a 2-for-1

You should be good and toasty by halftime and on the same elevated plane with your favorite Knick bloggers who have been absolutely brilliant during these trying times.

Heat at Lakers, 5 p.m. ET, ABC

The following matchups would be better than this one:

Miami vs. Indiana
Miami vs. San Antonio
Miami vs. Oklahoma City
Miami vs. Clippers
Miami vs. Golden State
Miami vs. Houston
Miami vs. Portland
Miami vs. Kentucky

More on these teams: Hot Hot Hoops Silver Screen and Roll

Rockets at Spurs, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Okay, now we're talking. Two good basketball teams and traditional rivals to tip-off the evening slate. You'll probably have to involve the whole family so here's some talking points:

1. Dwight Howard's free agency was less about a pampered star wanting his own spotlight and more about establishing a new paradigm in franchise building.

2. Extol the virtues of the corner three and both teams' significance in making it such an integral part of the modern game.

3. Explain why that angry man in the sideline interviews is in fact doing performance art.

4. Have a Euro-step contest during commercial breaks.

5. James Harden's beard: Real or fake?

More on these teams: The Dream Shake Pounding the Rock

Clippers at Warriors,

This one is for us. It's our present from the league from suffering through an abominable slate of early games. Let's all meet up on Twitter and talk about it.

More on these teams: Clips Nation Golden State of Mind

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Prada's pictures: Phoenix's 2-headed dragon and Drummond's development

Sunday Shootaround: Hello again, Danny Granger

Anti-tanking NBA official suggests eliminating the draft

NBA power rankings: Heat vault to No. 1

The Hook: The Nets can't turn back now | Lopez done for the year

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