NBA Christmas Day openers likely to see finals rematch

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It’s not official yet (and may not be for a couple weeks) but we have a pretty good idea what the new NBA opening day will look like.

Which is exactly what the old Christmas Day schedule looked like.

That slate of games was to and most likely will start where the NBA labor talks were settled — New York City — where the Knicks will host the Boston Celtics. Two marquee franchises looking to challenge the Heat and Bulls for supremacy in the East.

That will be followed by a rematch of the NBA finals, with the Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks hosting the Miami Heat. Dirk Nowitzki vs. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade again. That game would be broadcast on ABC.

Finally, the Chicago Bulls and MVP Derrick Rose will travel to Los Angeles to take on Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. That game also was to be on ABC.

After that the schedule is anybody’s guess. To cram 66 games into the amount of time left will mean a more condensed schedule than the 50-game one we saw after the 1999 lockout. It’s going to produce some tired legs and sloppy games. And we have no idea which direction this season will go.

But pretty much know how it will start.

Stephen Curry gets four-point play after Klay Thompson foul, Curry does some taunting

Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry is enjoying going against Klay Thompson. Maybe a little too much.

In the first half, Curry was matched up on his Warriors’ backcourt mate and enjoyed that Thompson missed the shot.

Then in the fourth quarter, with the game tight, Curry drained the contested three and drew the and-1 on Thompson — and did a little taunting.

That’s some All-Star fun.

Stephen Curry bounces alley-oop way above rim, Giannis Antetokounmpo slams it down (video)

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CHARLOTTE – Stephen Curry bounced this so high!

I suppose it helps that Giannis Antetokounmpo has such ridiculous reach.

Dirk Nowitzki walks on All-Star court, quickly splashes three threes

Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maybe Dirk Nowitzki shouldn’t retire after this season.

Added to the All-Star Game by Commissioner Adam Silver (along with Dwyane Wade) in what is expected to be the final season for the future Hall of Famer, the greatest shooting big man of all time showed he still has the touch. Entering the game midway through the first quarter, Nowitzki proceeded to quickly splash a couple of threes.

And he was not done yet.

Nowitzki never officially said he was retiring….

Giannis Antetokounmpo throws himself alley-oop on free throw… that obviously doesn’t count (video)

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
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CHARLOTTE – It’s an All-Star game, but you still can’t do that. A free throw that doesn’t hit rim is a violation, and Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly crossed the line early, too:

He was clearly going for levity, and at least he accomplished that.