by Zach DiSchiano, publisher
Justise Winslow and Julius Randle have been in the spotlight since high school, but this December, they’ll be on one of the NBA’s biggest stages.
The Christmas Day games offer some of the most exciting conversation pieces with the unveiling of the league’s full 2015-2016 season schedule, and it comes as no surprise that a rematch of last season’s Finals matchup is slated right in the heart of the day’s games. Home court advantage will naturally go to the reigning champion Golden State Warriors, but there are other games poised to be just as exciting as the one out in Oakland.
Young Texas players well-known in their home state will have a chance to make a name for themselves nationally on one of the NBA’s most-watched days of the regular season. Winslow, already a prominent figure thanks to his role on the National Champion Duke team, will likely start at small forward for the Miami Heat in an intriguing matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Four Texans will meet up in L.A. to hoop on a warm-weathered Christmas Day as the Clippers and Lakers face off in a battle for Staples Center bragging rights. Randle and Jordan Clarkson are the big names wearing gold, and should be big factors in the Lakers’ success all season long. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, the polarizing figure of the 2015 offseason, will represent Houston along with Randle. Wes Johnson, a Corsicana native, will play his former team as he puts on the red and blue for the first time.
Rising superstar Jimmy Butler will lead the Chicago Bulls to Oklahoma to face San Antonio product Andre Roberson and the Thunder. Whether or not Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will be healthy is always a question, but Butler and Roberson bring enough excitement to make the game entertaining either way.
Listed below is the schedule for Christmas Day, along with the times and where you can catch the games after you open your presents.
San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets, 8 ET, ESPN
Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder, 2:30 ET, ABC
Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors, 5 ET, ABC
Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 ET, ESPN
New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat, Noon ET, ESPN
Other notable players from Texas playing on Christmas Day:
LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
Gerald Green, Miami Heat
Kendrick Perkins, Cleveland Cavaliers
Jonathan Simmons, San Antonio Spurs