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30 Teams in 30 Days

Who should play on Christmas Day? Debating which matchup should be featured on the NBA's marquee day

After a whirlwind NBA offseason that felt like everything happened within a four-day span, it's already time to pivot and look forward to the biggest day of the year on the NBA calendar - Christmas Day.

The NBA's marquee day has become a showcase for the league's best teams, brightest stars and potential breakout stars.

This year's offering will come just days after the start of the NBA season on Dec. 22 leaving plenty of potential for intriguing matchups during the league's opening week.

We asked our NBA.com staff who'd they want to see play on Christmas Day.

Carlan Gay ( @TheCarlanGay ): If we can't get the NBA Finals rematch of Heat-Lakers then the next best thing for me would be the Lakers-Clippers .

It's the West Finals matchup we never got so this would feel like a small consolation. Every game they played in the regular season last year felt like a playoff game and on Christmas Day this year would be no different.

So many storylines around the game make it a must-have on Christmas. Ty Lue as the new Clips bench boss. PG13 trying to redeem himself from the poor showing in the bubble. Kawhi trying to steal the title of best player in the world from LeBron - with LeBron's teammate Anthony Davis potential entering the conversation. Oh and Montrezl Harrell going up against his old team. I mean it's all there on and off the court.

Don't overthink this NBA, give us Lakers-Clippers and let us enjoy.

Kyle Irving ( @KyleIrv_ ): Kyrie Irving's shoulder injury excused him from all four meetings with his former Boston Celtics last season and the only regular season stage with bright enough lights to host that first matchup is Christmas Day.

Give me the Celtics versus the Brooklyn Nets in Boston .

While there will likely be no fans in the stands, it still makes for an intriguing matchup to have Irving return to the city he spent the previous two seasons in. These will be two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference all season and intensity would surely be at an all-time high in Irving's first meeting with Boston.

Add to it that it will be one of Kevin Durant's first games back from an Achilles injury that caused him to miss the entire 2019-20 season and you're beginning to check all the boxes for an extremely entertaining contest.

It will be a battle of Durant and Irving versus Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and if that doesn't get you excited, check your pulse.

Gilbert McGregor ( @GMGregor21 ): Let's make it a family affair and start the day off with a meeting between the Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Pelicans.

In the spirit of the holidays, I think it would be fun to watch 2020 No. 3 overall pick LaMelo Ball face off against his older brother, and 2017 No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball. Charlotte is one of two franchises that have never played on Christmas Day.

Let's change that this year.

Aside from the obvious familial ties, the Pelicans' two franchise cornerstones have strong Carolina roots, with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson each growing up in the Carolinas before playing their college ball at Duke, which is also the alma mater of sharpshooter J.J. Redick.

Narratives aside, the Pelicans and Hornets are two of the more exciting, young teams in the league and it would be a fun matchup that would have no shortage of highlights. In years past, we've seen a five-game slate on Christmas Day, and an afternoon matinee at the Spectrum Center featuring a number of the league's rising stars would be a nice stocking-stuffer.

Yash Matange ( @yashmatange2694 ): How about a repeat of one of the most entertaining series of the 2020 postseason to cap off the Christmas Day marathon?

The Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz , two Northwest Division rivals, have restocked and re-tooled well over the 2020 offseason and could provide a thriller to end the slate of Christmas Day games. In the 2020 playoffs, both of these teams were missing key players on their roster due to injuries or other reasons but there haven't been reports of a major injury to any key player on these teams, so imagine how competitive this contest would be with two healthy rosters.

Not to mention the fact that we get to see two young talented scoring guards in Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray going head-to-head once again.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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