Christmas is now officially one week away, and once again, the NBA has scheduled a full slate of games that will fill more than 12 hours of your holiday with basketball goodness. Just like in years past, the league made sure to have some of the best match-ups of the entire season for the day's games. Here is a look at all the games on December 25:
Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics
Barclays Center, 12 p.m. EST
The Christmas Day schedule tips off with a match-up of two teams that have developed some bad blood for each other this season. On November 28, the Nets and Celtics had a what some called a "brawl" — I'll say it was more like a dust-up — that resulted in three players being ejected (including former Mr. Kim Kardashian). I would expect this game to have its fair share of tense moments as well and should be a good start to the day's games.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks
Staples Center, 3 p.m. EST
Before the season began, most experts predicted this would be a game between a true contender for the championship and an underachieving, mediocre team. Those experts just mixed up the two. The Knicks have been the surprise team this year, racing off to the best record in the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers look lost. The Lakers do have one thing to be hopeful for on Christmas; two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash, who has been out since October 31, hopes to be ready to play in this game.
The New York Knicks have been mired in mediocrity (or just sheer awfulness) for more than a decade now, never finishing higher than 6th in the Eastern Conference. This season, however, the Knicks have been the surprise team of the NBA, running out to the best record in the conference and second best in the entire league, trailing only the Oklahoma City Thunder. And while Knicks tickets are always popular, when the team is good, that popularity grows to another level.
So far for the 2012-13 season, orders of New York Knicks tickets have accounted for nearly 30% of all NBA orders on TicketNetwork.com, nearly double that of the Boston Celtics, the next closest team. In fact, that is nearly the same percentage of orders as the 25 lowest-selling teams combined.
Knicks games have also always been an attraction for tourists visiting New York City, and orders for tickets have come in from 28 different countries including Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands. Most international customers came from France, which has actually had more orders than U.S. so far this season.
While the Knicks popularity is evident, they are not the only team that are dominating sales on our site. The top 5 teams in terms of orders (Knicks, Celtics, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers) account for more than two-thirds of all NBA sales.
The newest addition to the group of top selling teams is the Nets, who moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn this past off-season and immediately began to establish one of the most popular brands in the NBA. They now play at the brand-new Barclays Center, which has already hosted two hard-fought games between the Nets and their New York rivals. However, while the Nets may be able to catch the Knicks on the court, it will still be awhile before they catch them in ticket sales.
You may not have noticed, but the NBA season is just a few weeks away from getting started. It feels like yesterday that I had to cringe watching LeBron James lift up the Larry O'Brien Trophy after leading the Miami Heat to the NBA title. Luckily for me (a Celtics fan) and basketball fans everywhere, the start of a new season means a fresh start for your team and another shot at the championship.
The preseason has just started getting underway this past week, but what people are truly waiting for is the beginning of the regular season and to find out when their favorite team plays in its home opener. There are a lot of great openers scheduled, so I decided to take a look at the Top 5 selling home openers on TicketNetwork.com:
#1 - New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat
November 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
No surprise here. The biggest basketball market hosting the NBA's defending world champions. It doesn't get much bigger than that. Last year, the Heat visited Madison Square Garden three times including the playoffs, winning two of those games.
The number of onsales this week is fairly light, with the exception of P!nk.
Average prices at TN.com for concert onsales*
- P!nk has 11 more onsales Friday and Saturday, for cites including Boston, MA; Louisville, KY; and Orlando, FL.
- Lady Gaga has onsales this Friday for Atlanta, GA; St. Louis, MO; Saint Paul, MN; Nashville, TN; and Phoenix, AZ.
- Mannheim Steamroller has a couple onsales for its annual holiday tour: one on Friday for Birmingham, AL, and one on Monday for Daytona Beach, FL.
The onsales list this week includes a handful of additional Lady Gaga shows, initial onsales for P!nk's latest tour, more MLB playoff games, and the West End production of Wicked.
Average prices at TN.com for concert onsales*
- There are a handful of Lady Gaga onsales this Friday.
- P!nk has initial onsales for her latest tour, supporting her latest album The Truth About Love. Several shows go on sale Saturday.
- There are a few more TSO onsales, including two in Nashville, TN, and one in Birmingham, AL. All of them are on Friday.