5 Fast Facts from Last Night’s Games — Christmas Day Edition

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RussellWestbrookSH1Merry Day After Christmas!

The 2013-14 NBA regular season continued on December 25 with a crop of Christmas Day games. There were superstars, championship contenders and a number of clashes between favorites to win their respective conferences.

Here’s everything that you need to know about yesterday’s action.

Tweet of the Day: NBA Christmas Tree Showdown

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Not to mislead, there is not a tree competition among NBA players.

However, in light of the Christmas season—today being Christmas Eve—a few players, namely Boston Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk, New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, took to Instagram and Twitter to post pictures of their families trees to help spread Holiday cheer.

Forget the Jerseys. Check Out the Awesome NBA Christmas Commercial

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By now, you’ve probably already had a peek at the jerseys NBA players will be wearing on Christmas.

Dwight Howard Rockets sleeves

Yes, they have sleeves.

Now, if Santa leaves one of these under your tree, you may not be so happy. They are clearly not conventional jerseys, which remain incredibly popular. And they are not quite T-shirts, either. They are somewhere in between.

The sleeved jerseys are unquestionably a marketing tool. In addition to being a new item that many fans believe they have to have, the sleeves have extra real estate not found on conventional jerseys that opens the door for – gasp! – branding on uniforms.

But before going all Grinch and labeling this as another unabashed money grab, you might want to get into the holiday spirit an bit early and take a look at the commercial the NBA put together to hype its annual Christmas quintupleheader.

I don’t know about you, but that was about a zillion times more impressive than last year’s ball-bouncing tune.

And if you’d like a peek at how they went about creating the advertisement, take a look at the video below:

FYI, here’s the lineup of teams that will be wearing the jerseys on Christmas:

At noon ET, the Chicago Bulls visit the Brooklyn Nets on ESPN. At 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC’s doubleheader begins with the New York Knicks hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder followed by the Miami Heat visiting the Los Angeles Lakers.

At 8 p.m. ET, it’s back over to ESPN for another doubleheader. First, the Houston Rockets visit the San Antonio Spurs before the Golden State Warriors host the Los Angeles Clippers.

Thirteen hours of NBA action, with cool commercials? Who needs a sleeved jersey?

Weekly Fantasy Planner: A very Merry week for Brooklyn

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Happy Holidays!

Christmas week is a big marketing event for the NBA with many marquee match-ups scheduled for Christmas Day. The highlight is the rematch from last year’s NBA finals. The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are still the favorites to make finals in 2013. The day also features a big city match-up of New York at Los Angeles, which will have the added of drama of Mike D’Antoni coaching against his former club; the hottest team in basketball, the Los Angeles Clippers, trying to overcome the league’s best home team but also the effects of tryptophan at altitude; and, an Atlantic division battle of teams who thought their Christmas’ would be more joyful.

For fantasy the biggest challenge for week 9 will be who to sit and start on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday as the schedule features a near full roster of games on those days. Today, we will try to highlight some of the more fantasy friendly slates, some notable games and suggest some players who are owned in more than 50% of leagues to sit and some players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues to start.

Before I get going, a big thanks to Kent for covering for me while I stepped away from the fantasy basketball world for a couple of weeks to address multiple issues in my family and professional world.

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