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Dec 28, 2016
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Well, our predictions for the recent NBA Christmas Day games were way off. Still, we were bestowed with a rather exciting slate, especially the highly anticipated Finals rematch.

In the spirit of the holidays, several players—and a team—found themselves on basketball Santa's 'Naughty Or Nice' list. Those who underperformed most likely ended up with coal at the bottom of their stockings, while those who were extra good were given the gift of endless cheering.

So, who's been naughty, and who's been nice?


Naughty: Carmelo Anthony and Al Horford

It seems that the in-game holiday greetings got a little too fuzzy and merited a double technical. Carmelo jokingly referred to the altercation as something between "a Dominican and Puerto Rican. That's all. No hard feelings—we have love for the Dominicans. It was nothing serious. That's what happens when New York (Knicks) and Boston (Celtics) play."

Nice: Los Angeles Lakers

In the last 20 seasons of Lakers Christmas Day games, it has always been the Kobe Bryant show. The team hit the court without the Black Mamba for the first time in God-knows-how-many years and still beat the mightier Clippers, 111-102. Seven players finished in double figures—something that might've not happened in recent Laker yuletide history.

Naughty: Stephen Curry

Statline: 15 points, 2-7 from three-point line, 4-11 overall

Welp. Somebody or something has been playing Grinch to the reigning back-to-back MVP come holiday game time. Usually his numbers are outstanding, particularly from rainbow territory, but this isn't the case whenever he plays on Christmas Day:

Nice: Russell Westbrook

Statline: 31 points, 15 assists, 7 rebounds

If his performance were to be based on his ridiculous standards, anything less than a triple-double should be considered a dud. But we have to give credit to where credit is due, and those 15 dimes perfectly embodied the season of giving. Plus, we even have this:


Naughty: Richard Jefferson

Remember, that man (36 years old) almost retired after winning his first championship last season.

Nice: Kyrie Irving

Déjà vu, Golden State Warriors?

 

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