Recapping The Best Of Christmas Day

Celtics-119  Knicks-114

It certainly wasn’t the best game of the day, but it was a good start.

This game was full of runs.  Until about half way through the 2nd quarter, it was pretty back and forth.  Boston missed a lot of shots in the first half.  They were good looks too!  But those shots just wouldn’t fall.  It showed on the box score.  Isaiah Thomas was only 9/23, and went 3-13 on threes.

The Celtics also ran some weird lineups.  Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown form an awesome defensive duo, but the C’s needed as many shooters as they could to match New York’s offense.

Towards the end of the 2nd quarter though, things flipped.  Jae Crowder hit three triples in a row, his only three of the day, and jumpstarted the Celtics offense.  They took a five point lead after that run, and really never lost it.

The third quarter was lowly, so this would be a good time to show you what Kristaps Porzingis did.

And then Al Horford wasn’t happy about it in the 2nd half.

I knew someone would blow it in the 4th quarter.  Boston has struggled in crunch-time all year, and the Knicks have tendencies to take matters into only one pair of hands, not the team’s at the end of games.

Lets just say, the lead Boston had for most of the game was key.  The Knicks got antsy and started firing up bad shots.  Courtney Lee did a little too much dribbling.  And we’ll get to Melo at the end.

As the Knicks usually do, they began the fake comeback.  What is that?  Well, its when the Knicks do a bunch of good things and then waste it at the end of the game.

Porzingis went off late.  He hit two threes, and made a bucket with an and-1.  He also got a steal and laid it in, which made me appreciate his versatility even more.

But when it came time for the Knicks to make a play, they faltered because of greediness.

Melo just can’t take the ball into the corner like that and expect to create a good shot, especially with Avery Bradley in your face.  Bradley’s excellent defense shined there.  But Melo just has to be smarter.

So yeah, the Celtics escaped, but only thanks to another Knicks fake comeback.

Cavaliers-109 Warriors-108

Hands down the best game of the day.  It wasn’t played exactly how I thought it would be, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining.

Neither team played their best game.  Cleveland played extremely sloppy in the first half, and Golden State didn’t shoot well.  The Cavaliers defense was poor too, but Golden State didn’t capitalize as they missed a ton of shots.  The game was practically both teams trying to catch up with the other’s mistakes.

Side note: The officiating was terrible early on, especially with the two calls on Draymond Green, but Green also has seven technical fouls this season.  There’s been like 30 games played.  Thats a little much, Draymond.

Anyways, this game was grid out by both teams.  Neither Cleveland or Golden State had a three-point barrage, or a long back-and-forth period.  It was gritty, physical, and at times boring, though competitive.

Sunday was Kevin Durant’s show, and it made me realize a couple things about this Golden State team.  We all knew everyone’s production would be dimmed down with KD’s arrival, but what Sunday showed was that KD is the No.1 option for them.  Thats allowed Stephen Curry to take on more of a point-guard role.  Curry only took 11 shots.  Some would argue Golden State lost because of Curry’s limited role, but at the same time, would Curry doing more really help them win?  I mean, they almost won with him taking only 11 shots.

The Warriors’ game-plan was a little weird.  They didn’t try to out-run or out-shoot Cleveland.  They weren’t flashy.  Honestly, they weren’t themselves.  And its not like Cleveland’s defense was spectacular.  Really, Golden State’s effort was a little poor.  They never pulled away, and it cost them at the end.

But first, we need to pay some dues to the fantastic dunks we saw in this game.

This sequence was how we expected this game to turn out.

And then Richard Jefferson turned back the clock 12 years or so.


The last thing I expected from this game was Richard Jefferson yamming on dudes.  In crunch-time too!  Those dunks were massive possessions that Cleveland had to have, and gave them energy and confidence towards the end of the game.

Seriously though.  The Cavaliers were down 14 at the time of the first Jefferson dunk.

Then this LeBron dunk, which may or may not have been a technical for hanging on the rim, gave the Cavs the lead with 1:44 left.

Those final two and a half minutes represented how I thought the whole game would play out.  It was such good basketball.

And it had eerie similarities to June’s Game 7.

Once again, Kyrie Irving was there for the win.  I thought it was a terrible shot.  He kinda just did his own thing, driving to the basket, then backing out and taking a terrible mid-ranger with a guy right in his face.

But he drained it, like he did to win the Finals in June.

The Warriors had time left, but KD tripped (That was no foul) coming out of the in-bound and time ran out.

So yeah, the Warriors blew a huge lead once again, and Kyrie killed them once again.  But I don’t think its gonna play out that way in June, assuming we get these two again.

I think its a different game in June.  Both teams are gonna be playing their A-game.  Sunday wasn’t Cleveland’s or Golden State’s A-game, and thats the difference.

Not writing on the other games due to lack of quality…