A five-game Christmas Day lineup of NBA contests on ABC and ESPN has something predictable — Cleveland, with LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, traveling to Staples Center to meet Kobe Bryant and the Lakers (ABC, 2 p.m.) — and then something that’s quite unusual — the Clippers, starting an ESPN doubleheader at 5 p.m. with a game at Phoenix.
Santa has gotten a bit crazy in his old age.
The day begins with Miami at New York (9 a.m., ESPN), followed by Boston at Orlando (ABC, 11:30 a.m.) and capped off with Denver at Portland (7:30 p.m., ESPN).
ESPN and ABC have 90 NBA games combined (75 of them on ESPN). Their schedule starts with an ESPN doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 28: New Orleans at San Antonio followed by Utah at Denver. Then it’s the Lakers hosting Dallas on Friday, Oct. 30 (7:30 p.m.), preceeded by Chicago at Boston.
The Lakers and Celtics make 16 appearances on ESPN and ABC — the most allowed by the league on any network. Cleveland has 15 hits, and Orlando has 14. The Clippers have five.
On TNT, the schedule begins on Tuesday, Oct. 27 with a doublehead capped by the Lakers’ receiving their championship rings prior to a game against the Clippers (7:30 p.m.). The opening game is Boston at Cleveland (4:30 p.m.).
The Lakers’ second regular-season game against the Cavaliers, Jan. 21 at Cleveland, is a TNT telecast.
The Lakers make 9 TNT appearances, and the Clippers have three. Cleveland, Denver and Orlando have 10 TNT stops.
On NBA TV, there are 96 games, starting on Sunday, Nov. 1 with New Orleans-Boston. The Clippers have five NBA TV hits on Sunday, Nov. 9 (at Oklahoma City, 4 p.m.), Wednesday, Dec. 2 (home vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.), Sunday, Dec. 9 (home vs. San Antonio, 6:30 p.m.), Sunday, April 4 (home vs. New York, 6:30 p.m.) and Monday, April 12 (home vs. Dallas, 7:30 p.m.)