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Why five games on Christmas day? Because you watch them.

Dec 25, 2012, 8:58 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One Getty Images

One year ago, the NBA season tipped off.

After an ugly and protracted lockout that should have driven away fans, the NBA opened with five games on Christmas Day — and four of them set ratings records. You watched.

So if you want to know why there are five Christmas Day games this year that’s why — ratings. Television and the money it brings in. The NBA is a business first and foremost. Don’t ever forget that.

We may be a third of the way through the season, but for a lot of casual sports fans Christmas is the unofficial start of the NBA season, when they start really paying attention. So you put together a good slate of games — including a finals rematch and New York against Los Angeles) and watch the fans tune in. Or stream on their mew iPads.

It’s like a second opening day — no NFL, no college bowl games to compete with. Just NBA games and its biggest teams and stars.

This year it tips off at Celtics and Nets at noon (eastern) then the action shifts to Los Angeles where the hot Knicks take on a Lakers team with Steve Nash in the fold but trying to find an identity.

Then the finals rematch — Thunder at Heat. LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant.

Two of the more interesting games are that night — Rockets and Bulls, then the Nuggets visit the Clippers.

It’s a showcase day for the NBA and so there are five games. If you think that’s too many, don’t watch and the NBA will change it. But right now, you’re watching and they are playing.

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