NBA recap: Christmas Day hoops, MVP race and more

(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

Upcoming games to watch

The NBA schedule is strange after Christmas, with there being a great deal of home-and-home series taking place. This means two teams will play each other in consecutive games at each other’s home arena. These are the three games to watch after Christmas Day.

Denver Nuggets @ San Antonio Spurs — Dec. 26

The Western Conference’s 1-seed travels to face one of the NBA’s hottest teams. The Denver Nuggets continue to navigate a period of injuries very well to maintain their hold on the top seed, while the San Antonio Spurs have quietly gone 7-3 over their last 10 games and 13-5 at home for the season. This could be a preview of a first round playoff series.

Boston Celtics @ Houston Rockets — Dec. 27

Both teams are playing below their expectations, but this game features the two most enjoyable isolation players in the NBA. Kyrie Irving and James Harden have some limitations, but scoring the ball in any and every way possible is their strong suit. If this game is close late, expect Uncle Drew and the Beard to get in their bag and try to close the game out.

Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers — Dec. 28

The first matchup between the Los Angeles teams finds them at an interesting time. The Los Angeles Clippers have cooled off a little after their hot start (3-7 over their last 10 games) and the Los Angeles Lakers are inconsistent themselves, going 5-5 over their last 10 games.

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The Lakers seem more likely to hold their standing in the Western Conference playoff picture, but the real battle for L.A. will ensue this offseason over free agents. Until then, these games expect to be high-scoring.