Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers to Play on Christmas

by July 25, 2013

Details of the unreleased 2013-14 NBA regular season schedule have begun to leak, and one of the always highly-anticipated Christmas Day matchups appears to be set — the Lakers and Heat will face each other in Los Angeles on December 25. Per the Sun-Sentinel: “The Miami Heat will be getting their 2013 NBA championship rings in front of the Chicago Bulls. Their fans then will get to enjoy their Christmas dinner watching the Heat from afar, against the Los Angeles Lakers. […] According to the preliminary schedule, which is subject to revision, the Heat will open their second consecutive championship defense on Tuesday Oct. 29 at AmericanAirlines Arena against the Bulls. According to the all-but-finalized draft of the 2013-14 NBA schedule, the Sun Sentinel also has learned that the Heat will visit Staples Center on Dec. 25 to face the Los Angeles Lakers, a somewhat surprising scheduling move considering the Lakers lost center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets in free agency and there remain questions about the return timetable of guard Kobe Bryant from last season’s torn Achilles. The final 2013-14 NBA schedule is expected to be released next week. It is rare, practically unprecedented, for nationally televised games, such as opening night and Christmas, to be changed between the initial and final drafts of the schedule. […] An added element of opening night, with the scheduling against the Bulls, would be the expected return of Chicago point guard Derrick Rose from more than a year of inactivity. After sustaining a severe knee injury during the 2012 playoffs, Rose missed all of this past season, including the Bulls’ 4-1 loss to the Heat in the second round of the 2013 playoffs. As for the Christmas plans on the nearly completed draft of the 2013-14 NBA schedule, it would be the Heat’s fifth consecutive Christmas game, with four of those scheduled on the road, the lone exception last year’s 103-97 victory over the Thunder at AmericanAirlines Arena.”