It's too bad the Bulls aren't playing on the NBA's signature day of the year, because given the fact they just fired coach Scott Skiles, that would have been AWK-waaard!
Anyway, yes: The NBA's Xmas Day games are its biggest (and best) day of the season: Bigger than the All-Star Game. Bigger than the Playoffs. Yes, even bigger than the Finals. (Just look at last season's Finals TV ratings debacle.)
But the Christmas Day games are different: The league hand-picks the match-ups that are the very best. More importantly, everyone is watching, because there's nothing else to watch. The league has the day to itself on the sports calendar, especially this year.
My biggest problem with the NBA is that the regular season is relatively meaningless -- just ask Mavericks fans. Given that, the Christmas Day games become the high point between the Draft nights: The NBA's winter and summer solstices.
The Xmas Day games are not about the regular season, and they are not about the playoffs. They are purely about entertaining us -- about driving TV ratings, of course, but accomplishing that through the most compelling matchups and letting that pull the sleigh.
Ho ho ho...