Yesterday we took a look at the NFL Thanksgiving Classic, and thought it fitting to check out demand around the NBA on Christmas Day.

The tradition returns this year with a blockbuster double header which will tipoff at 12:30PM on December 25th. The defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics will take on the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard at home in the Amway Center.  The fire will build when the Miami Heat take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center for the first time this season. There’s an unbelievable amount of hype building in Los Angeles to see Kobe take on the Big 3, and ticket demand is the highest we’ve seen across the entire league for the 2010 season. The double header will be bookended by the Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder, and Portland Trail Blazers at the Golden State Warriors.

In the graph below we compared the Christmas Day match ups with the home team’s average ticket price across the season:

  • Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers: The scorcher of the season, based on demand. Tickets are going for an average of $507 on the secondary market, the highest priced game this year, well over the Heat season opener at the Celtics. As the Heat have yet to gain a foothold with an 8-6 record, it will surely be an edge of your seat game to see them take on the unstoppable 12-2 Lakers.
  • Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic: Tickets are averaging at $133, as fans are excited to see two top level Eastern Conference rivals go head to head. The Orlando Magic have historically low priced tickets at Amway Center – the average price for the season leading up to Christmas Day has been hovering around $52. The 253% increase in ticket prices for this particular game is a testament to the hype around the Celtics.
  • Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks: The Knicks and Bulls are head to head in our NBA Ticket Prices & Rankings respectively placing #3 and #4. As both teams are in large urban basketball markets, they historically draw high ticket prices. Still, the Christmas match up is averaging at $120 a ticket, 122% over the season average of $98 for the Knicks.
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors: Prices for this Christmas Day match up are trending lower than the Golden State Warriors average season price, which places surprisingly high in our rankings at #5. Unfortunately the Portland Trail Blazers command such low ticket prices, that fan demand around this game is quite low at $61, only 89% of Golden State Warriors average season prices.
  • Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder: Fans are paying higher prices to catch the Denver Nuggets in Oklahoma City, most likely because Carmelo Anthony is in town, and the Thunder have a good chance disarming him with their current 10-4 record. Oklahoma City is typically a lackluster market for NBA games, with the Christmas Day match up fetching $66 on average, at 105% of the average season prices.

We’ll continue to track the NBA Christmas Day match ups leading up to the holiday. Let us know if you’ll be attending any of the games, wage a guess whether the Heat or Lakers will reign supreme, or share your thoughts about the other games in the comments below or on Twitter @SeatGeek.

Get in the holiday spirit by watching Kobe and LeBron bust a move in this Elf Yourself video we made: