The NBA's big Christmas Day showcase is all set, headlined by LeBron James' return to Miami.
The NBA's Christmas Day is loaded with high-profile matches, as it is every year. LeBron James and the Cavaliers will take their talents to South Beach, it's business as usual for the Lakers and Bulls, and the day features a pair of high-profile Western Conference playoffs rematches.
Here's the NBA's Christmas Day showcase for 2014:
Noon ET, ESPN
The schedule opens up at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks host the Wizards. Washington is one of the new playoff contenders rising in the Eastern Conference, while the Knicks are trying to force their way back into the picture with a new direction headed by Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and the triangle offense.
A Carmelo Anthony-Paul Pierce match-up could be fun, and the Wizards will have a chance to make a statement on a big stage against a conference opponent.
2:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Christmas Day will feature a mid-west showdown between the defending champion Spurs and Thunder. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will try their hand at taking control of the Western Conference, and a rematch of the Western Conference finals will be a great test to see where these teams stand going into the 2015 portion of the season.
This should be a competitive game highlighting two very talented teams. It's a complementary pairing if only to balance Westbrook's eye-popping fashion with Tim Duncan's low-key attire.
(Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports images)
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat
5 p.m. ET, ABC
LeBron James returns to Miami to face the Heat on Christmas Day in what will surely be a highly anticipated reunion between the "Big Three." James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh may not be teammates any more, but they'll have a chance to spend the holiday together.
This could be a big game beyond the narrative, though. James and the Cavaliers will be pushing for immediate contention in their first year back together, and the Heat refused to throw in the white towel after he left. Both teams should be big players in a wide-open Eastern Conference.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls
8 p.m. ET, TNT
The Lakers make it 16-straight Christmas Day appearances when they visit Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and the Bulls. These teams faced off on Christmas in 2011, opening their seasons in Los Angeles following the lockout. The result? Rose hit a game-winning shot over Gasol:
The world works in funny ways. Another year, another Christmas Day game featuring Kobe Bryant playing against his former championship big man teammate.
10:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The Clippers and Warriors take the floor on Christmas Day in what could be the most entertaining game scheduled for the day. Star talent, high-octane offense and a testiness between these two squads in what is a nice rematch from the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.