Nets, Celtics Create Rivalry on Christmas Day

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

The NBA season begins on December 22 and the world is excited about the NBA’s Christmas schedule that has five big games on the docket.

One of the most intriguing games on the schedule is the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division showdown between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.

Opening NBA odds for Christmas Day between the Celtics and the Nets are quite close with the Nets currently holding a slight lead over Boston.

The Celtics added Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague to their roster that already includes Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker

From a Nets perspective, it’s entertaining for a big reason: Kyrie Irving.

Entering his tenth year in the NBA, he’s built an impressive resume.

A six-time NBA All-Star, Irving was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2012, an NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 2014 and he won an NBA
Championship with LeBron James, Kevin Love, and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

After the Cavs’ Championship run, Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics where he put up solid stats. Injuries and chemistry became a problem and Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets last offseason.

A Duke University product and West Orange, NJ native, Irving appeared in 20 games last season for the Nets.
Irving averaged 27.4 points, 6.4 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game. Irving had season-ending surgery on a nagging shoulder impingement.

Now healthy, Irving and Nets teammates, Kevin Durant, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Joe Harris, Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet, and Jarrett Allen are competing in a deep NBA Eastern Conference under first-year head coach, Steve Nash.

While the Nets look good on paper, other Eastern Conference teams like the Philadelphia 76ers have upgraded and the Jimmy Butler-led Miami Heat are still the NBA’s reigning Eastern Conference Champion. Out west, the Los Angeles Lakers are the reigning NBA Champions behind the heroics of All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers are also viable threats out West.

Unlike the conclusion of the 2019-20 NBA season which took place at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, teams will play games at home arenas and will travel to other arenas. But, there will be no playing of games in front of fans until further notice.

The NBA and players will have strict protocols to follow as outlined in a 158-page memo which includes protocol for COVID-19 testing.

“It is likely that some staff, players and other participants in the 2020-21 season nonetheless will test positive or contract COVID-19,” read the memo.

“Particularly as the virus remains prevalent in particular team markets and surrounding communities.”

The memo also notes that players will be allowed to eat outside their hotel while on the road only if they’ll be dining at a restaurant approved by the NBA, outdoors or indoors in a “fully privatized” space.

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