1. Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks – 12 p.m. ET on ESPN
Fit player to watch: Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks) – The young Latvian star has established himself as the Knicks’ franchise cornerstone now that Carmelo Anthony is gone. This off-season, the 7’3”, 240-lb forward hit the gym hard, using boxing and some intense weightlifting workouts to help take his game to the next level. So far, it’s worked: Porzingis is averaging a career-best 25 points and 2.1 blocks per game.
The Knicks have played the most all-time games on Christmas Day, with 52, and they’re tied with the Lakers for most wins on the holiday, with 22. The Sixers, buoyed by their young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, are playing on Christmas for the first time since 2001(!). Like Porzingis, Sixers star Embiid also trained with boxing this off-season, and it looks like it has paid off: Embiid is averaging 24.1 points, 11 rebounds, and nearly two blocks per game, and is likely closing in on his first All-Star appearance.
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