Why the Orlando Magic should play on Christmas in 2024, and 5 opponents to match them with

The Orlando Magic have not played on Christmas Day since Dwight Howard's final season in 2011-12. The team still has a ways to go, but their time in the spotlight is coming. Here is what games Magic fans should hope to unwrap next Winter.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic will be making waves in the NBA soon and could put in a bid for a Christmas Day game soon.
Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic will be making waves in the NBA soon and could put in a bid for a Christmas Day game soon. / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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5 Orlando Magic games for Christmas Day 2024

vs. Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are getting the marquee slot on the ESPN Christmas calendar with a 5 p.m. ET tip-off against the Los Angeles Lakers. That is the lead-in tonight to the big NFL Christmas Day Monday Night Football game that also doubles as a Super Bowl preview (the NBA probably really hates that sentence, but they will take the TV ratings for this game regardless).

The Celtics are not likely leaving that stage any time soon.

Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown anchor the best team in the Eastern Conference and have a marquee brand behind their name. They do generate ratings. And pairing them with a star-studded Lakers team is guaranteed to get some attention.

Still, the Celtics can go in and out of love with the public. Tatum is not a magnetic star player and the Celtics make the national stage because they are such a strong team and a constant title contender.

Boston remains a likely candidate to get the annual noon tip-off against the New York Knicks, which is becoming a tradition like the Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving.

If the league wants to introduce a team like the Magic to a national stage, they should pair them with an established power like the Celtics. Especially considering Banchero's Duke connections with Tatum. This would be a game that could generate some ratings.

The Magic's NBATV Black Friday showdown with the Celtics had a 0.16 rating and 317,000 viewers, according to Sports Media Watch. That was not necessarily a winner on a busy Black Friday (there was no comparable TV time slot last year). But it was not quite a loser considering the network the game was on.

And this would be picking a good team to match them up with. There is already a lot of history between these two teams.

The Magic had beaten the Celtics four straight times after their Black Friday win in the In-Season Tournament at Amway Center. There was some media sniping between Eddie House and Magic fans -- and Cole Anthony noted House's comments lit a fire under the Magic when they played.

There have been some big games already in the series. Banchero had 23 in the Magic's Black Friday win and then added another 36 in their matchup last Sunday.

If the NBA is looking to put one of the Eastern Conference's stalwarts against one of its up-and-comers, this would be a good one to feature even if they ship the Magic to Boston for the game.

Magic fans certainly consider this a rivalry and one of their traditional rivalries after playoff battles in 1995, 2009 and 2010. This would be a great matchup for Christmas Day.