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Report: Jokic, Nuggets to host Booker, Suns on Christmas Day

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson preview the NBA Christmas Day schedule for next season, featuring 76ers-Knicks, Bucks-Celtics, Grizzlies-Warriors, Lakers-Mavericks, and Suns-Nuggets.

We already had reports that Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks would host LeBron James and the Lakers on Christmas Day, and that Ja Morant and the Grizzlies made it to the NBA’s showcase day and will be traveling to take on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Now you can add the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns to the mix, reports Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

This is a great showdown (and, my guess, is the late game of the day on ESPN).

Denver is finally healthy around two-time MVP Nikola Jokic — Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are expected to be back in the rotation — and with that they are title contenders in the West. Fans may be sleeping on how good Denver is heading into this season.

The Suns had the best record in the NBA last season, winning 64 games, and they eventually — and after much dramamatched the offer sheet to keep Deandre Ayton in Phoenix. The Suns are getting the band back together and will again be one of the top teams in the West with the backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Every team we know playing in the three Christmas Day games so far is in the West, meaning the last two will be from the East. It’s almost certain that Boston and Milwaukee will be involved — possibly playing each other in a prime ABC game, perhaps playing other teams — and my money would be on James Harden, Joel Embiid and Philadelphia being one of the other teams, too.

Those Christmas Day games this year will have to go up against the NFL, which is usually dark on Christmas, but with the holiday falling on a Sunday there are games.

We’ll find out the full NBA schedule later this week.