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While watching horrible ABC family Christmas movies with my Mom (you know the made for TV Christmas love stories, all have the same exact plot with different actors…terrible), I had the urge to do something manly. So I started to peruse around ESPN.com and stumbled upon the NBA section. The lineup on the top of the screen got me more excited than Gus Johnson during a last second play (well maybe not that excited, but you get the picture). In case you have been living in a closet the past month here is the gift that David Stern (Truly the Grinch who Stole Christmas by vetoing CP3 to Lakers trade, then giving Christmas right back by trading CP3 to the Clippers and creating LOB CITY!!!!!): Celtics/Knicks, Heat/Mavs, Bulls/Lakers, Magic/Thunder, and Clippers/Warriors. In case you for some reason don’t want to watch all these games (and if you are that person you are crazier than Stephen Jackson) I am here to let you know which ones should be a priority.

Celtics vs. Knicks

One thing this game has going for it is the fact that it is the first game of the season. That may draw a lot of people at the start (11:00 AM Central), but that isn’t the only thing that will keep people around. Both of these teams are packed full of all-stars and since it is the beginning of the season the Celtics lineup should be relatively healthy, and the senior citizen version of the big three should be able to keep up with the newly formed big three of NYC.

Priority: Medium

Prediction: Celtics

Heat vs. Mavericks

The game of the day; if you don’t watch this one then you are more of a loser than the kid in middle school who wasn’t allowed to watch South Park (Thanks Mom). The Mavs are getting their rings, WITH THE HEAT IN TOWN! The NBA couldn’t have made a better storyline than this (Wait a second…). Better yet, LeBron and Company will be more fired up than ever to start out with a bang and get revenge on the team that took away LBJ’s chance at his first ring. I fully expect the Heat to be firing on all cylinders (pun-intended).

Priority: High

Prediction: Heat

Bulls vs. Lakers

I know that this may be an unpopular opinion, but I am not all in on the Bulls like the rest of the media. Does Rip Hamilton really make their team that much better? They are like season one of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, they are a great team but just one player away from the top. Just like Always’s Sunny needed Danny DeVito to truly make the show in the second season, the Bull’s need someone else to get them to the next level. Or if Boozer decided to stop drinking and start playing (you mean Boozer is actually his last name, not a nickname? My apologies). And don’t even get me started on the Lakers. The popular kid for so many years is about to get a taste of it’s own medicine when the Clippers season gets going.

Priority: Low

Prediction: Bulls

Magic vs. Thunder

The big question here is how much will Dwight Howard try. The front office of the Magic must be run by some 15-year-old girls, because according to them Howard is happy to be on the team and wants to stay in Orlando for the season, but according to Howard he definitely wants out. Huh? A lot of he said, she said going on with no real truth on the matter. If I am Dwight and I don’t want to be in a Magic uniform what better way to let the world know then play half-ass on Christmas day. The Dwight Howard nonsense may take over the talk during this game, but how the whole Kevin Durant (Avon Barksdale) and Russell Westbrook (Stringer Bell) situation works out is something to watch for too. OKC is an extremely young and talented team that should definitely excel in this shortened 66 game season.

Priority: Medium

Prediction: Thunder

Clippers vs. Warriors

All I have to say about this one is LOB CITY! Here it comes folks; we are about to have a season of Chris Paul to Blake Griffin/DeAndre Jordan alley-oops. Remember the LeBron to Wade damn near full-court alley-oop, well CP3 could honestly throw about 2 of those a game to Blake the Snake (why hasn’t that nickname caught on yet!!) and I would not be surprised at all. The Warriors on the other hand, well they have Stephen Curry. There honestly is no reason to watch this game other than for the Clippers. But even if I give this the highest priority rank I know that no one in Wisconsin will be watching this game. Not with the Packers vs. Bears game going on the same night.

Priority: High

Prediction: Clippers

Hopefully, watching some of these games can make some of the forced family time the holidays bring a little better. So sit back, grab a beer, and let the NBA take over your flat screen this Christmas. Hell of a lot better than the “A Christmas Story” marathon (one of those movies that was good the first time you watch it, average the second, then after that pretty much sucks. I know, another unpopular opinion, sue me).

-Josh Becherer