Next season’s NBA schedule is expected to be released at some point over the next month, with fans’ eyes sure to focus on the eagerly-anticipated Christmas Day battles that provides a huge highlight every year.
The Golden State Warriors have featured in each of the last 10 Christmas Day matchups, and as a genuine playoff contender possessing one of the best and most marketable players in the league, it’s surely inevitable they’ll add an 11th.
With some close rivals and intriguing storylines, there are a number of teams who the Golden State Warriors could face on Christmas Day.
Assuming the Warriors are part of the Christmas Day schedule yet again, let’s have a look at four teams they could play in order of likelihood.
4. Memphis Grizzlies
A budding rivalry that began in the 2021 Play-In Tournament and re-emerged in the second-round of the playoffs a year later, Golden State and Memphis took on each other in last year’s Christmas schedule. The Warriors came away victorious on their home floor, somewhat surprisingly given they were missing stars Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins.
The rivalry will likely cool somewhat with the antagonistic Dillon Brooks leaving the Grizzlies for the Houston Rockets. It’s probably not a matchup worthy of two Christmas Day games in a row either, but nonetheless remains a possibility.
A rematch of the 2022 NBA Finals would surely have fans salivating, particularly given both are expected to be around the mark and in contention again next season. The teams produced a classic overtime game in Boston in January, again showcasing the kind of quality contests they can provide.
Cross-conference Christmas Day games are somewhat unusual, although the Warriors have played the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks a combined four times in the last eight years. Regardless, there’s probably a couple more worthy opponents.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
With each team led by arguably the two most notable basketball figures of the last decade or more, this is a California battle set up for another Christmas Day game. The Curry-Lebron James matchup in itself is worthy of any stage, and what better way to showcase it again than on the biggest day on the regular season calendar.
Add that to the fact the teams are coming off a hard-fought second-round playoff series, and are projected to be around the same spot again next season. It makes for a tantalizing clash if the league chooses to go in that direction.
1. Phoenix Suns
The teams squared off in a Christmas Day battle in 2021, with so much happening since to only add to the rivalry. On one hand you’ve got Kevin Durant coming up against Curry and Golden State again, and on the other you’ve got Chris Paul taking on his former team for one of the first occasions.
This one makes the most sense and if the NBA is smart about it, they may even make it the first of the four games between the two teams next season. That would only heighten the excitement of a matchup between two sides with overlapping personnel who each expect to be in championship contention.