Here’s your ultimate Christmas day preview, and an exclusive first look inside ESPN’s new Second Screen Experience from Cassidy Hubbarth!
We’re just days away from the NBA‘s 70th edition of Christmas day games! — Five games for the 10th straight season will be broadcast in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages! And, you’ll be able to watch all of the action a little early, with an added twist thanks to ESPN‘s new Second Screen Experience, titled “ESPN Full Court Press”. The new experience will air at 10:30 PM ET on Friday, December 22 as the Warriors take on the Lakers; Available on the ESPN App and ESPNNEWS. NBA Sideline Reporter, Cassidy Hubbarth will lead an ongoing discussion with a slew of talented analysts and experts, and she filled us in on the new feature! Click here for photos of the NBA’s latest campaign — This Is Why We Play.
“It’s a second screen experience, you’re going to be able to see it on ESPN news and also on the app. The idea is that we’re giving viewers complimentary content to have while watching the Lakers and Warriors,” Cassidy told HollywoodLife.com. “We’re going to be providing a non-traditional game experience, in addition to having unique camera angles and an inside look into the arena. The narrative throughout the game is not going to be play-by-play analysis like Doris Burke and Dave Pasch will be providing on ESPN; It’s really going to be driven by our expert panel, talking news, trades, free agency, and what’s happening in the game,” she explained. “So, we’re using the game to get us more in-depth discussions and coverage of the Warriors and Lakers and the other side stories in the NBA. Think of it as watching the game and having a podcast-like conversation to help your viewing experience of the game.”
“We don’t want it to be so formatted,” Cassidy said, explaining, “We want people to feel like they’re a fly on the wall in our conversation about the league. We want people to feel like they’re involving in the conversation. We have a ton of smart, plugged in people,” she added about her panelists, Adrian Wojnarowski, Jalen Rose, Bobby Marks, and Nick DePaula. Click here to learn more about ESPN’S Second Screen Experience from ESPN’s Senior Coordinating Producer, Tim Corrigan.
Below, you will find the NBA Christmas day schedule, gift guide deals and fun facts about the annual holiday lineup!
XMAS DAY SCHEDULE
- 76ers @ Knicks at 12pm ET on ESPN
- Cavs @ Warriors at 3pm ET on ABC
- Wizards @Celtics at 5:30pm ET on ABC
- Rockets @ Thunder at 8pm ET on ABC
- Timberwolves @ Lakers at 10:30pm ET on TNT
GIFT GUIDE DEALS
- The Knicks Holiday Hoops Plan is a great perk for basketball fans this holiday season! Fans can come together at the Garden this season and make Knicks basketball their new holiday tradition. Whether it’s a gift for a friend, a way to spend time with your family, or a treat for yourself, come out and feel the electricity of New York on basketball’s greatest stage. For all the exciting matchups this holiday season, we have the seats you want. Find the tickets that fit your style by visiting Knicks.com for tickets today. Here’s how it works — Fans will get their choice of five games for the remainder of the season. The packages start as low as $271 for 5 games.
- Still shopping for that basketball-obsessed loved one in your life? — Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all of the best deals from the NBA Store. Click here for your ultimate NBA gift guide!
THINGS TO KNOW
- PHILADELPHIA 76ERS @ NEW YORK KNICKS —Philadelphia and New York will meet for the first time this season.The matchup features three potential first-time All-Star selections in the 76ers’ Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis. All three international standouts have unique skill sets relative to their size and position.
- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS @ GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS — Cleveland and Golden State will meet for the first time since the 2017 NBA Finals. And, this is the third consecutive Christmas Day matchup between the teams. Last season’s Christmas matchup was intense, as Cleveland came back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit; Kyrie Irving made the game-winning shot with 3.4 seconds left.
- WASHINGTON WIZARDS @ BOSTON CELTICS — This is the first meeting between the Celtics and Wizards since their dramatic playoff series in the 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals; Boston won in seven games. The Celtics are playing a home game on Christmas Day for the first time in franchise history. And there’s a few first for both teams — Twin brothers Marcus Morris of the Celtics and Markieff Morris of the Wizards will face each other for the first time with Marcus in a Celtics uniform; Marcus was traded from Detroit in the offseason.
- HOUSTON ROCKETS @ OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER —Houston and Oklahoma City are meeting for the first time since the Rockets defeated the Thunder in five games in the first round of the 2017 playoffs. Former teammates, James Harden and Russell Westbrook will go head to head as Harden leads the NBA in scoring and narrowly trails Russell Westbrook for the assists lead.
- MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES @ L.A. LAKERS — Minnesota and Los Angeles will meet for the first time this season on Christmas day. However, this will be the Lakers 19th consecutive appearance on Christmas Day. Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins averaged 37.8 points in four games against the Lakers last season, including a career-high 47 points on Nov. 13, 2016, and 41 points on April 9, 2017; Can he do it again?
Here are some numbers highlighting the NBA on Christmas Day, which will mark the start of Week 11 of the 2017-18 season:
NBA CHRISTMAS DAY FUN FACTS
- Cleveland and Golden State will become the first teams to face each other three consecutive years on Christmas Day since the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat from 2004-06.
- Cleveland’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have each recorded 301 points and 76 assists on Christmas Day, the third-highest all-time totals for both categories.
- New York will play on Christmas Day for an NBA-high 52nd time.
- The three players who have scored at least 50 points in a game this season will be hitting the court on Christmas Day — Washington’s Bradley Beal, Houston’s James Harden and Cleveland’s LeBron James.
- Golden State’s Kevin Durant owns the highest-scoring game on Christmas Day among active players, recording 44 points for Oklahoma City against the Denver Nuggets in 2010.
- Oklahoma City’s Carmelo Anthony has averaged 33.2 points in five Christmas Day games, the highest mark among all players with at least four appearances.
- Boston will play a home game on Christmas Day for the first time. Of the Celtics’ 30 previous games on Christmas, 28 were on the road and two were at a neutral site.
- Houston’s Eric Gordon, the 2016-17 Kia NBA Sixth Man Award winner, will celebrate his 29th birthday on Christmas Day.
- The Knicks and Lakers share the record for most wins on Christmas Day with 22 each.
- Philadelphia will make its first appearance on Christmas Day in 16 years.
- Cleveland’s Dwyane Wade has won 10 games on Christmas Day, the most in NBA history.
- ESPN’s Doris Burke will be a Christmas Day game analyst for the eighth time when she calls Wizards-Celtics on ABC. Burke is the first woman to serve as a regular national NBA game analyst.
- NBA TV will offer two full days of original programming on Dec. 24-25, including the premiere of Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters, a documentary spotlighting basketball’s impact on society and the development of the sport on the African continent (Dec. 24, 1:30 p.m. ET).
HollywoodLifers, which matchup are you looking forward to?