Hello all, and Merry Christmas if you are into that sort of thing.
Whether you are celebrating the holiday or not, it is my hope that you have people you love to spend time with during this season, and all seasons.
It can be very difficult to be on your own, as I know from experience, but I’m aware that this time of year is often an extra burden for those struggling for any reason.
Please know that I view Canis Hoopus, even as cranky as we sometimes get, as in part a place of solace and comfort, something it has been for me since I found it nearly a decade ago.
We’re here, we’re always here, and hopefully you have found some worthwhile companionship on this site. I would like to thank you all for being a part of my favorite place on the internet.
This is a thread for the five games played on the NBA’s signature day, and for sharing any holiday traditions, recipes, or stories.
Or for, you know, whatever we wind up talking about.
We start off with a helping of Giannis, in New York to face the Knicks at the Garden. The Bucks have emerged as a contender in the East under new coach Mike Budenholzer, while the Knicks are struggling once again without Kristaps Porzingis.
The Rockets remain surprisingly inconsistent, but at 17-15 occupy the eighth spot in the West at the moment. Their defense has really struggled this season, though they remain potent offensively. The Thunder meanwhile are among the top three in the West, with Paul George having perhaps his finest season.
Sixers at Celtics
4:30 pm CST
The Sixers seem to have found their form and are third in the East. Jimmy Butler seems to be fitting in there, though we all know how that goes. The Celtics have been surprisingly up and down. After starting 10-10, they won eight in a row, but then lost three before winning their last game. The defense has been good, but the offense has stalled out at times. They still have a lot of talent and depth, and some time left to get it together. Fun match up.
The Warriors haven’t quite been a juggernaut, but still remain the team to beat, and have won eight of ten. Health has been a big factor. The Lakers are firmly in the playoff mix with LeBron James, and might be looking to make moves sooner than the summer. If both teams take this game seriously, it could be serious fun.
Blazers at Jazz
9:30 pm CST
A fun back court match up highlights this one, between a Blazers team that overall is about what we expected, and a Jazz team that has disappointed this season after their terrific and unexpected 2017-18 campaign. Donovan Mitchell has not taken a step forward after his stellar rookie year, and their defense remains good but is not great. With so many teams piled up, these sorts of match ups take on added importance.