Christmas Competition


Max Escarpio, Sports Writer

The NBA’s annual Christmas day games consisting of 5 total events with major rivalry teams competing was a success. This year the NBA put together multiple rivalries: The Los Angeles Lakers versus the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Celtics versus the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Houston Rockets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Every year The NBA tries to put together competitive games to debut on Christmas day. This year the NBA gathered the defending champions the Warriors, the up and coming Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers with new super star Lebron James.

The first game begins with the New York Knicks versus the Milwaukee Bucks. These two teams had previous tension between Bucks star Giannes Antetekounmpo and Knicks offseason asset Mario Henzonjia. Last time they met Honzonjia dunked on Antetekounmpo and stepped over him creating a problem between the Knicks and the Bucks. TERRA Junior Brandon Lara stated; “ It’s great when NBA teams or players have previous beef because it gets the fans hype and makes up a great game.” The NBA also brought the young star; Antetekounmpo to Madison Square Garden to see him take the challenge of the New York fans/ environment and see if he lives up to the hype.

The second game of the evening consisted of the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder; a competition of the two previous MVP’s. This is very important for both teams because it represents a finals appearance and see who lifts up the Larry O’brien trophy in June. The Houston Rockets have not made the Finals since 1993-1995  when they beat the Orlando Magic and the New York Knicks. The Thunder haven’t made the Finals since the 2011-2012 season with their big three of Kevin Durant, Russel Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka; but then lost to the juggernaut Miami Heat. Both of these groups have put together very nice squads with all stars like James Harden and Chris Paul on the Rockets and Russel Westbrook and Paul George on the Thunder. This Christmas will give them a taste of the postseason and the type of competition they will face.

The next game are two top Eastern Conference teams: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. These two prodigy filled teams consist of young superstars like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid for the 76ers and Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum for the Boston Celtics. Both squads also faced off on opening night. With the first win of the 4 game series going to Boston; final score, 105-87.

The main event of the night is the Los Angeles Lakers versus the Golden State Warriors. Both these groups have acquired top 5 players in recent offseasons. Kevin Durant and Lebron James will face off as frontrunning MVP candidates and as arguably the top two players in the NBA. TERRA Sophomore Dylan Gonzalez said; “ This is going to be a great matchup with Durant and James because we can see who really is the top player and we can maybe be watching the Western Conference Finals.” The defending champions Warriors will look to take down the new look Lakers with all star forward Lebron James, who faced the Warriors in the past four Finals.

The final event of the night is the Utah Jazz V.S the Portland Trail Blazers. The two squads play behind young super star duos in Donnovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and Damian Lillard and CJ Mcollum. Both these playoff teams will had a competitive duel and will most likely go down to the wire; for another great Christmas performance.