Report: Final Christmas game to be Magic-Thunder
Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:39 am
By Matt Moore
Well, if Dwight Howard gets traded before the season opener, it's going to be quite the coal in Magic fans' stockings, and it'll be on display for all the world. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the fifth and final Christmas Day opening game of the season after Heat-Mavericks, Knicks-Celtics, Bulls-Lakers, and yesterday's report of Clippers-Warriors will be the Magic visiting the Thunder in Oklahoma City.
It makes a lot of sense for the league. With another open spot, it's only natural that the Thunder, one of the league's most popular and up-and-still-coming teams make the debut. This means that the Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies are the only teams to make the second round who will not play on opening day. Oklahoma City is also the only true "small market" team to play on Christmas Day, though Miami is by the technical definition.
If Howard is still in Orlando, it should be a competitive game, with Howard matched up against his old nemesis Kendrick Perkins, and the Thunder's perimeter attack faced up against a formidable backcourt when hot in Orlando. Kevin Durant had an "unspectacularly spectacular" season last year, and the shortened season with a team of tight-knit young guys may allow him to have a career year. He'll get his shot to open up right away. Christmas in Oklahoma. What could be better?