The NBA's signature Christmas Day quadruple-duple header began in the New York area. Well before Dec. 25, the prospect of two early Christmas Day games involving the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks seemed very promising. However, the Nets and Knicks have not lived up to that promise, as Christmas brought their latest rock bottom in lopsided losses to the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Nets at least stayed close to the equally disappointing, injury riddled Chicago Bulls for a half, before falling apart for a 95-78 loss. The Knicks didn't even come that close to the much stronger Thunder -- especially without Carmelo Anthony -- as they suffered the worst Christmas home loss ever by 123-94.
Brooklyn was already plagued by the loss of Brook Lopez for the season, right as coach Jason Kidd called the Nets out for accepting losing. They had to accept a loss to the Bulls because of a terrible third quarter, where the Nets were outscored by 36-20. From then on in, the boss rained down at Barclays Center for a team that was expected to rule the Atlantic Division -- and spent millions to do it.
The Knicks ruled the Atlantic Division for much of last season, but age caught up to them in the postseason and this regular season. Even Anthony hadn't been enough to keep New York from a 9-18 start, so it certainly didn't have enough against Oklahoma City without him.
The Thunder are the only team from the first two games of Christmas that has exceeded expectations, and is actually a contender as promised. Kevin Durant once again showed why that is in New York, with 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while Serge Ibaka added 24.
While the Thunder are now tied for the NBA's best record at 23-5, both the Knicks and Nets are tied for third place in the Atlantic at 9-19. Although this still leaves them three games back of the first place, 11-15 Toronto Raptors, that wasn't much of a Christmas present for Brooklyn or New York on this day.
The NBA's entire Christmas schedule was diluted from Anthony, Lopez, Derek Rose and Kobe Bryant being out with injuries. However, the Nets and Knicks have been diluted even worse this season, as the harsh spotlight from being in New York doesn't help either -- and certainly didn't help on Christmas day.