The sports world has always been controlled by the NBA on Christmas Day and this upcoming year will be no different. Some of the league's greatest stars and teams will all have the honor of playing on one of the regular season's biggest stages and we got an early look at who will be playing who with the 2023 Christmas schedule recently being released.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the five-game slate on the holiday will feature five teams from the Eastern Conference and five teams from the Western Conference, as usual. The matchups are as follows:

Of these ten teams that will be in action, nine of them made the playoffs last season, as the Dallas Mavericks are the only team who failed to make the postseason. This Christmas Day schedule also features the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, the four teams who reached the conference finals last season, with the Nuggets going on to win the 2023 NBA Finals.

All of these matchups are rivalries and if we have learned anything from these teams over the years, it is that things could wind up getting chippy fast. Each of these five games will be a delight to see, but some have a little bit more on the line than the others.

Here's a look at where each Christmas Day showdown ranks.

5. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Joel Embiid

In what is expected to be the first game played on Christmas Day, the Philadelphia 76ers will travel from the snowy, cold northeast to the beaches of Florida to take on the Miami Heat. Two organizations that have championship expectations in the Eastern Conference, the Sixers and Heat have a lot of uncertainty surrounding what their teams will look like in December.

Obviously, the Heat made the NBA Finals last season and the league will look to market Jimmy Butler and Co. as much as possible, but there is no telling as to who will be on Miami's roster outside of Butler and Bam Adebayo on opening night. Trade rumors surrounding Damian Lillard continue to dominate the league and should the Heat be able to acquire him from the Portland Trail Blazers, their roster will change dramatically.

As for the Sixers, Joel Embiid is the league's reigning MVP and everyone will want to see him play. However, James Harden's future is another major question mark yet to be answered this offseason after the All-Star point guard requested a trade.

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Harden may be out of Philadelphia and Lillard may be in Miami by the time this matchup rolls around, making it the most uncertain out of them all.

4. Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks

Many will look at this game between the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks thinking about a “David vs. Goliath” type of story since the Bucks have been championship contenders over the last several years and the Knicks continue to be a team on the rise. Overall, this is a very even matchup heading into the new season, as New York has proven that they can hang with the best of the best in the league.

Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo, Mitchell Robinson and Immanuel Quickley make up an impressive core group for the Knicks and nobody should be shocked to see them end up as one of the best rebounding teams in the league this season. If you need any proof for this argument, go watch what this Knicks team did against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs just a few months back!

The Bucks finished with the best record in the league last year, both Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez returned in the offseason, and as long as Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the floor, the Bucks will have a chance to compete for a title. However, Giannis' health is a slight concern right now, as he was forced to withdraw from the 2023 FIBA World Cup due to an offseason knee procedure he had done.

New York is going to be looking to make a big statement during the 2023-24 season and there is no better time to put yourself on the map than a win on Christmas Day against one of the best teams in the league. In Madison Square Garden, the Knicks will have a real opportunity to prove that they are championship threats in the East.

3. Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns

Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal

We don't even need to see a full game play out between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns, we just want to see Luka Doncic and Devin Booker go one-on-one against each other!

The rivalry between the Mavs and Suns have continued to grow over the last couple of years and there are a lot of narratives that surround their Christmas Day game this upcoming season. There is the Doncic-Booker feud, but this will also be a matchup of two former teammates in Kevin Durant versus Kyrie Irving. Throw Bradley Beal into the mix and all of a sudden, we have five All-Star talents taking the floor during the holiday season.

This will also mark the first time that Dallas will play Phoenix on Christmas Day, so a little bit of history will be made in this budding rivalry.

Dallas missed the playoffs last season and they've been doing everything they can to improve their roster this summer. Grant Williams, Seth Curry, Richaun Holmes and Derrick Jones Jr. are all veteran players who will provide depth coming off the bench and the Mavs still have both Josh Green and Jaden Hardy as well.

There is a chance this game could be the highest-scoring affair on Christmas Day and if we know anything, it is that Doncic and Booker will have a few words and smiles for one another over the course of these 48 minutes.

2. Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets

The Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA Finals. The Denver Nuggets recently won the 2023 NBA Finals. These two recent champions are set to face off in Denver on Christmas night with the Nuggets looking to prove to everyone that they have surpassed the “Golden Dynasty.”

Over the last two regular seasons, the Nuggets have had the Warriors' number, defeating them in six of their last seven matchups. However, the Warriors have always been a team that steps things up in the postseason and they recently took down Denver in five games during the 2022 playoffs, the year Golden State went on to win their fourth title since 2015.

Whether you hate them or love them, the Warriors are one of the league's most marketable teams and who doesn't want to watch Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson light things up from three-point range? On the other side of the court, Nikola Jokic is arguably the best offensive player in the league right now and after winning two consecutive MVP awards, he instead took home the Finals MVP award in June.

No big deal right?

A lot is on the line for Denver in this game, as this is an opportunity for them to continue their dominance in the Western Conference and prove that they are still the team to beat. One win or loss does not make or break their season, but beating the Warriors on Christmas would surely add to the confidence the Nuggets already have in themselves.

1. Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Anthony Davis, LeBron James

The Boston Celtics versus the Los Angeles Lakers is the league's ultimate rivalry and while they have been friendly in recent years, this battle between the two franchises extends all the way back to 1959 when they met in the NBA Finals for the very first time. The Celtics are 9-3 against the Lakers all-time in the Finals and these two organizations are tied for the most championship in league history at 17 titles.

The race for No. 18 has never been tighter and this will likely be the premier, mid-afternoon and early-night game on Christmas, as the league will want to market this showdown as much as possible.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown highlight what has been one of the most dominant teams in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have been to the Eastern Conference Finals in five of the last seven seasons and they have consistently been near the top of the league's standings. Acquiring Kristaps Porzingis at the price of Marcus Smart this offseason, Boston is making it very clear that their only goal is to win a championship right now.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis are once again the focal points for the Lakers, a team that ended up being very busy during the offseason. Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and D'Angelo Russell all returned, but Gabe Vincent, Jaxson Hayes, Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish are the new faces that will provide better depth than this team had on their bench during their run to the Western Conference Finals. With James not getting any younger, this is the best chance the Lakers have to win another title.

This will be the fifth time Boston and Los Angeles meet on Christmas, as the last time these two teams faced off after Santa delivered his presents around the world was in 2008. The late, great Kobe Bryant finished this game with 27 points and nine rebounds, leading the Lakers to a 92-83 victory over Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the Celtics.

There truly is no better matchup in the NBA than the Celtics facing off with the Lakers. These two teams are vying for their 18th championship this upcoming season and they will highlight the list of games set to be played on Christmas, which is just over four months out for anyone counting!