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.
Count me in as one of the critics who say that there are way too many bowl games in college football. With 35 bowl games on the schedule for 2012-13, there are 70 teams that will be playing in those games. Just due to the sheer amount of teams, you are bound to find some really great match-ups and some really, really poor ones.
BCS Championship Game: Notre Dame vs. Alabama - I don't know if there could be a more intriguing game than the Fighting Irish vs. Crimson Tide. Both programs have huge fan followings who will be helping to build up the hype for this one.
AT&T Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma - These two teams have perhaps the biggest gripes with the BCS. Both seemingly earned spots in a BCS bowl game but were not selected. Despite not being a BCS bowl game, the Cotton Bowl may be the best match-up other than the BCS title game.
Hyundai Sun Bowl: USC vs. Georgia Tech - Now I could complain about how disappointing USC was this season, but let's look at Georgia Tech instead. They had a losing record! They were 6-7! Could someone explain to me how they are playing a postseason game?
Discover Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State - I am firmly on ESPN Analyst Kirk Herbstreit's side—Northern Illinois does not deserve to be in this game. Florida State will probably blow them out and make what should be a big time BCS game into a laughing stock.
As the days in November wound down, there was one thing that I kept hearing people say, "I can't believe its almost December already." Well, you can eliminate the "almost" from that statement because December is here with all the cold weather and holiday cheer you can handle.
For a lot of us, December also marks one of the busiest times of the entire year between holiday shopping, visiting family, decorating... well, you get the idea. So, if you are looking for something fun to do in between all the holiday chaos, here are some of the top events that are coming up in this month:
The Rolling Stones: The aging rockers celebrate their 50th anniversary with three shows, including December 8 in Brooklyn and December 13 and 15 in Newark.
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Shania Twain in Las Vegas: Shania Twain begins her two year residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on December 1.
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra: TSO will continue its holiday schedule this month before concluding on December 30.
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Other Concerts in December:
- Bands, including Coldplay, Further and the Zac Brown Band, will be playing shows on New Year's Eve.
- Bryan Adams has a few shows in December. They start on December 10 in Tulsa, OK.
- Artist with tours ending in December include Aerosmith and Cheap Trick; Journey; 3 Doors Down and Daughtry; Eric Church; Leonard Cohen; Carrie Underwood; and Dave Matthews Band.
It was a busy week for everyone this week, but here are just a few of the things that made headlines:
Of course, the biggest event of this past week was the Thanksgiving holiday. A day full of food (and I mean a lot of food) and family get-togethers. Yesterday as a holiday treat, we shared with you the awesomely bad "It's Thanksgiving" music video, but today I figured I would show you the much better "Thanksgiving Song" by Adam Sandler. Enjoy.
As soon as the clock strikes midnight after Thanksgiving ends, people across the U.S. go into shopping mode with the start of Black Friday. Deals from stores across the country have people waiting in lines for hours and fighting through huge crowds in order to get the perfect holiday gift. I suggest waiting a couple days until Cyber Monday, where you can find deals online from the comfort of your own home.
Hostess closes; Twinkies are no more
In perhaps the saddest development of the week, Hostess, the brand that brought you Twinkies, officially went out of business this week. People cleared the shelves of Twinkies in stores across the country in order to get their final fixes of the confectionery treat. Hopefully it won't be too long before someone buys the Twinkie name and brings back the American classic.
Have a great weekend, everybody!