The pairings for the NBA's Christmas day matchups have been leaked. An NBA Finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers is tentatively scheduled for Christmas, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Another game, featuring the Heat going against the Pelicans, has been been reported by the Miami Herald. A third game between the Clippers and Lakers could happen, too, per the Los Angeles Times.
The NBA season begins in October but most casual fans tune in around Christmas. The league knows this and uses the opportunity to showcase some of its most exciting squads. Let's take a look at what's in store.
Warriors vs. Cavaliers
A re-match of last season's finals, in which the Warriors beat the Cavaliers despite a fantastic performance by LeBron James. Both teams are the favorites to once again come out of their respective conferences and both teams are returning most of their supporting casts. This is the game of the day, a clash between contenders with a history and a matchup featuring some of the league's biggest stars.
Heat vs. Pelicans
Anthony Davis emerged as one of the league's best players last season and could take another leap in the upcoming year. After making the playoffs for the first time, his Pelicans could make some noise in the West. The Heat, meanwhile, should be one of the most improved teams in the East. With Chris Bosh back after suffering from blood clots in his lungs and Goran Dragic re-signed, Miami could be the biggest threat to the Cavaliers' reign.
Clippers vs. Lakers
This is tentatively scheduled to be a Lakers home game, but both teams get to be "home" for Christmas, thanks to the shared Staples Center. While it can be annoying to always see the Lakers, they're the biggest media market so you have to understand it's bound to happen. With Kobe Bryant back, they have some star power. As for the Clippers, they had a bizarre summer but clearly left July with their best team since they traded for Chris Paul.