Last year, ESPN's lead NBA team of Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy made history by calling two Christmas Day games in two time zones. The pair were in Dallas for Mavs/Heat then made the trek to Oakland for Warriors/Clippers. This year, Breen and Van Gundy will duplicate the feat and once again call two games in one day.
Travel will be much easier for Breen and Van Gundy in 2012 as they stay in Los Angeles for two games at Staples Center. ESPN's top braodcast team will cover Lakers/Knicks on ABC at 3 PM ET and then return for Clippers/Nuggets at 10:30 PM ET on ESPN. ABC & ESPN will televise all five Christmas Day games this year. Here's the complete lineup…
12 PM – Celtics @ Nets – Mark Jones, Doris Burke (ESPN)
3 PM – Knicks @ Lakers – Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy (ABC)
5:30 PM – Thunder @ Heat – Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown (ABC)
8 PM – Rockets @ Bulls – Dave Pasch, Jon Barry (ESPN)
10:30 PM – Nuggets @ Clippers – Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy (ESPN)
Even without Mark Jackson, Breen and Van Gundy remain one of the top announce teams across sports and it's a deserved honor for the pair to call two Christmas Day games for a second year in a row. But perhaps the most interesting element of ESPN's NBA coverage on Christmas Day is what will be happening on ESPN3. Between the Lakers and Clippers home games, ESPN3 will televise the real-time transformation of Staples Center from the Lakers home court to the Clippers home court.
I can't imagine there will be many people sitting down in front of their computer for several hours on Christmas Day to watch an arena being set up for an NBA game… ok, I can't imagine any sane, reasonable human being doing it… but it may be cool to check out periodically as something different. It has to beat watching A Christmas Story for the thirteenth year in a row.