Setting the table for a Christmas feast

I'd love to see that series because a Spurs victory would reinforce a lost value in the NBA: continuity.

Not only has San Antonio's core trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili been together for more than a decade, even newer additions such as Danny Green and Tiago Splitter are already in their fourth season with the Spurs. The Rockets, on the other hand, have only two players who were on the team as recently as 2011-12: Chandler Parsons and Greg Smith. I think it's appropriate that if the Rockets want to realize their potential to be among the best teams in the league, they'll first have to battle San Antonio to be the best team in the state.

Those same regional-rivalry rules apply to the Los Angeles Clippers and Warriors, the fifth matchup of the day and the one that promises to be the best. Only one of their past four games going back to last season has been decided by single digits, yet these have been some of the more memorable games because there's always some bickering between these two teams. Their Halloween matchup, which the Clippers won 126-115, featured a shoving match between Andrew Bogut and DeAndre Jordan and also a serious stare-down from Warriors coach Mark Jackson after Blake Griffin bumped him on the sideline.

The two teams have combined for at least 200 points in every matchup going back to last season.

One way or another, they'll provide fireworks. That's all we can hope from this day of basketball: a Christmas that resembles the Fourth of July.

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