Merry Christmas everybody. May your mornings be filled with presents, your afternoons be filled with delicious food and your evenings filled with fellowship with friends and family.
Oh yeah, may your day also be filled with an entire day of basketball greatness.
In the spirit of Christmas, TSFJ will be providing an open thread for all of the latest and greatest happenings that's taking place during the 5-game slate the NBA schedule gods have given us today. Hey, some teams might not have the full roster we wanted, or the uniforms we'd rather see, or or enough brown liquor to put into our collective egg nog...but hey, we're here to make it work. Sit back and enjoy the commentary, videos, GIFs and other happenings that we come across during the day.
A quick discussion about sleeved uniforms (11:23 a.m. ET)
The NBA and adidas decided to give basketball fans everywhere an early Christmas gift by fitting all 10 NBA teams playing on the 25th with these new limited edition sleeved uniforms. The opinions on social media during the day have been bombastic, with the large majority sharing the belief that the uniforms aren't the best looking things in the world. Here's the thing though.
These jerseys aren't for you.
What's the last jersey you went out and actively bought? Hell, what's the last jersey you've actually worn? I'd assume it's been awhile, and if you have bought/worn one recently, I would assume you've only worn it to the stadium/arena.
While the Christmas stylistic white-wash of these current uniforms aren't the most original and creative uniforms, but I applaud adidas and the NBA at least being willing to try something different. I do agree with the general public that the huge logo on the chest doesn't look great for everybody (Hello, Brooklyn...how you doing?) I think there's wiggle room for the rec league/softball uniform look in the NBA. The Clippers uniform is genuinely very good looking, and after the Warriors scrapped the yellow off-colored version for a cleaner white version, the hope should be that this look will be refined over time.
A couple of quick observations about the Bulls/Nets uniforms during the early game.
- I'm actually a big fan of the number on the sleeve. Reminds me of college football jerseys. A nice detail.
- Brooklyn's jerseys looks like what the Birdmen would wear in 2013. Word up to Birdie.
- Brooklyn should consider scrapping that "B" logo and putting a cursive Brooklyn on the chest would be very dope.
Sleeves for everybody. I'm with it. -- ETSF
A$ap Russy is ready for the game (12:45 p.m. ET)
I'm reminded that Russy was an infant when this style was popular.
The more things change...
Never change Russell Geronimo Westbrook. Never change. -- Till
While I was opening gifts, Reggie Jackson happened (5:20 p.m. ET)
God bless Ciara, one of my best buddies on Twitter, because she definitely knows my heart. While I was watching my mother open up her new laptop that I bought her and watching my aunt open up the new perfume that I procured for her, the Oklahoma City Thunder were blowing out the New York Knicks. This is a small sacrifice that I made to make sure that the two most important women in my life were properly draped up with the finest I could afford. (I'm broke now.)
Anyway, God bless Ciara, because she said that I might need to obituary Mr. Amar'e Stoudemire. For why though, Amar'e? For why?
Oh yeah, by the way, Oklahoma City's looking mighty good. You boys might want to watch out. -- ETSF
Smart move by a longtime courtside season ticket holder trying to do some recruiting today pic.twitter.com/NHRHW891up
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 25, 2013
The Lake Show Recruitment of LeBron Raymone James (7:05 p.m. ET)
Evidently, this is how they do it in L.A. post-Dwight Howard. Forget the #Stay campaign, just get courtside ticket holders to wear custom jerseys with the name and number of the coveted free agents info on the back of it.
I'm not going to lie, I'd be recruiting LeBron too especially after he did all of this. (Props to SB Nation for the video.)
Who knows if it'll work, but I applaud the initiative. (Okay, it's kinda simp-ish, but whatever.) -- ETSF
Long Live Nick Young (7:39 p.m. ET)
Watching Nick Young play basketball last season for the Philadelphia 76ers was one of the hidden joys of an otherwise worthless season. Behind Jrue Holiday’s breakout All-Star campaign, the unpredictability of the one they call 'Swaggy P' was reason enough to tune in.
But holy hell, I never thought he’d become a national phenomenon. Yet here we are, with the talent-deprived Lakers keeping pace with the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Christmas day … and all the talk is about Nick Young, his ridiculous nickname and the fact that the poor man’s version of Kobe Bryant is leading Kobe’s team in scoring. This is stupid. And crazy. And magnificent. Just like Nick freakin Young. His Kobe-sized confidence is impossible to ignore, and damn near impossible to dislike. Particularly when he’s not on your favorite team.
Long live Nick Young. -- The Rev
5 Quick Halftime Observations On Rockets Vs. Spurs (9:27 p.m. ET)
ONE - I think it's time to say that Dwight Howard is officially 'back.' Pun intended. That bad back of his seems like old news and D12's second jump is 'back." That defensive intensity that he used to show in his Orlando Magic days are 'back.' Most importantly, that constant whinyness is back. Okay, it never left, but Dwight's looking like the best big man in the NBA that we used to know.
TWO - The fact that the Spurs alternate gray uniforms look like the exact gray in the hair and the beard of Tim Duncan is incredible. John Witherspoon would say, "You've got to co-oordinate." Word to Keith Tolbert.
THREE - There are too many people saying that Chandler Parsons is a handsome man on Twitter. Sidenote, I probably got lost in Chandler Parsons eyes at least 3 times in the first half.
FOUR - Can someone reasonably explain when Marco Belinelli became an awesome player? Good God, the man looks borderline unstoppable on the Spurs second-unit, and when he plays with Manu Ginobili, they work a beautiful two-man game like Sidney Deane and Billy Hoyle did on WMCJ.
FIVE - Sage Steele is fine as hell. She became even more fine as hell when she wore those LeBron 11's on national television.
Ok @sagesteele! I see u rocking them X-Mas day LeBron 11s. Looking good. Goes great with the dress as well
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 26, 2013
Amen. -- ETSF
5 Quick Postgame Observations On Rockets Vs. Spurs (10:42 p.m. ET)
ONE - I'm not sure if Terrence Jones is capable of playing the way he did on Christmas vs. the Spurs, but if he can play close to that level, Houston's requests for talent back in a trade with whomever for Omer Asik changes drastically. Sidenote, the Rockets are 7-1 when Jones gets a double-double. (He had 21 points and 14 rebounds tonight.)
TWO - Every time Matt Bonner gets into the game, I get excited for some reason.
THREE - James Harden played 42 minutes tonight, after being questionable to even play in tonight's game with a sprained ankle. Seems a tad excessive.
FOUR - You all remember when Danny Green was the scariest muhfucka of all-time in the NBA Finals last year? Where did that guy go?
FIVE - Per Till:
I fell asleep watching Rockets-Spurs. I woke up to see that Houston got their second win, and I'm not surprised. I have no real reason, but I think I get it. Would Pop rather see Golden State over a happy (and productive) D12?
Nobody knows Till, nobody knows. -- ETSF & Till
A Quick Conversation About Ditching Chapel Service With Your Rivals (11:11 p.m. ET)
This broadcast began with references to a burgeoning rivalry between the Clippers and Warriors and its fever pitch thus far was the former Lob City's dismissal of attending chapel services with the Bay Area crew prior to their October contest. And even on Jesus' birthday, the Clippers rebuffed the Warriors again.
Now, it's possible to read too much into it, but the discussion makes me wonder if Doc Rivers is teaching his team how to prickish on purpose? If so, does he think that the Warriors are easy marks?
A large part of the 2007-13 Celtics' legacy was built on a degree of prickish and/or dramatic (within the game) behavior; notably from Kevin Garnett, but not limited to Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and even "he's still in the league" players like Jordan Crawford. Yet, that aura was traded for spare parts this summer and maybe more than basketball IQ and a championship ring, the standoffish demeanor is what Rivers wants to develop with this Los Angeles Clippers team.
And yet, I doubt he tries this against the Spurs or Thunder. -- J. Clinkscales
The Warriors might not be who we thought they were (11:59 p.m. ET)
For all of the talk going into the season that had the Golden State Warriors as legitimate contenders in the West, in comparison to the upper echelon they're still pretty average there. Maybe the fact that Steph Curry plays like he's never attempted a lay up a day in his life, or Andre Iguodala being a jack of all trades that comes off as a master of a different one every game. Tonight is proof that they're best at being inconsistent.
Yeah they're exciting, but there is no reason to put them above any of the top 4 teams in the West, and the fact that they find themselves out of the Top 8 in the West every other other game speaks for itself.
Fun to watch, but I'm definitely not crowning them...yet. -- Esau
Ed's Note: Maybe this team isn't the team we'll see at the end of the season. Maybe a David Lee trade, perhaps? Who knows...but it does seem like this Warriors team is still reading their press clippings from last season. Maybe a lack of urgency? Maybe a lack of chemistry and role changes with new personnel and injuries hampering their growth? Who knows...but like Sam Cooke said, a change gon' come.
"What the f*ck are you doing?" -- Doc Rivers (12:48 a.m. ET)
The national media's trying to make the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers a rivalry really, really bad. I haven't been buying it not one bit. However, after this Christmas night, I might be changing my tune.
After a sloppily played first half, the second half began with a flurry of altercations.
First, Draymond Green got ejected for throwing an elbow to Blake Griffin. (Notice the theme.) Draymond claimed that Blake started it. Draymond got an early exit.
Then, Blake and Andrew Bogut got into it after Bogut faceguarded Blake and put his elbows in Blake's mouth. Because of an earlier tech Blake received in the game, Blake was now ejected.
Finally, Rian Hollins decided to get some revenge on Andrew Bogut, (yes, the 7'1' and 195 pound weighing Rian Hollins) He threw an egregious elbow at Bogut and somehow the referees missed it.
Doc Rivers didn't miss it, and he let Rian Hollins know that he should stop being stupid.
The NBA on Christmas Day...it's FAN-tastic! -- ETSF (Props to Warriors World for the Vine)
It's Finally Over (1:15 a.m. ET)
God bless each and every one of you who sat through over 14 hours of NBA basketball today. You all are some loyal followers of The Assocation. Somehow, you have neglected your family and friends, good eats and libations, gifts and spiked egg nog, just to watch the NBA give us five games on Christmas day.
Like I said, God bless you.
The finale between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors was a microcosm of the entire day, as there was plenty of initial anticipation that was then deadened slightly by players missing in action (Steph Curry for the first three quarters, Blake Griffin was ejected) and sloppy play by both sides. Soon enough, dynamic plays were made, elbows were thrown, more elbows were thrown, players were cursed out, then more dynamic plays were made.
Then the two best players on the court, Steph Curry and Chris Paul, took over. Inconceivable shots were made. Icy stares were given. Crowds were quieted. Crowds were ignited. What more could we ask for on Christmas?
So, with the Clippers down two and just one second remaining, Jamal Crawford was given the ball from 30 feet away. A prayer was heaved to the rim, the entire world felt like it was going in. It didn't go in. It didn't matter. Because a skirmish broke out.
Inexplicably, Brian Scalabrine and Stephen Jackson were involved. Kent Bazemore was dancing like a lunatic. 14 hours of NBA basketball was finally over.
What more could a basketball fan want (besides spiked egg nog?) than that? Well...maybe Kobe Bryant in uniform...but other than that? Nothing.
Merry Christmas everybody. Go get some rest. -- ETSF
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