1. Miami Heat
During the late-1990s, you can make the argument that there wasn’t a better rivalry in the NBA than the one between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. Even though it has cooled recently, there’s no question that when the Heat and Knicks meet, there is a little extra intrigue that goes into every matchup. Pairing the Heat and Knicks on Christmas Day could be exactly what the NBA needs to do this season.
With both franchises on the rise, with the Heat beating the Knicks in the Eastern Conference semifinals en route to their second NBA Finals appearance in four years, there would be plenty of interesting storylines to work with. The Knicks will be looking to get some revenge on the Heat as they look to take a step forward in the East and Miami will be looking to regain some respect after many called their run to the NBA Finals last season a “fluke.”
The one possibility that could take this matchup over the top as a possibility for Christmas Day is the inclusion of Damian Lillard (which is far from a certainty at this point). The Heat, with Lillard, entering Madison Square Garden on the biggest regular season day for the NBA; that might be something the league wouldn’t be able to pass on.