The marquee day on the NBA regular-season schedule is Christmas Day. It has become a tradition to have some amazing matchups on Christmas.
Typically, at least a month’s-worth of games have been played in the schedule to give teams a bit of playing time to showcase some of the best talents on the court at Christmas, but something has caused a different feeling this year.
COVID-19 Changed Everything
When COVID-19 became a problem, the NBA was the first to shut down and announce a delay in the schedule. Once scientists wrapped their brains around some aspects of this virus and the NBA found a way to safely move into a place where this virus wouldn’t become a problem, the 2019-2020 season resumed. This area and environment are what we now affectionately refer to as the NBA bubble and it worked extremely well.
The Bubble Changes are Still Impacting the NBA
Twenty-two of the thirty NBA teams went to the bubble site in Orlando, FL to play a few regular-season games and then the playoffs. This didn’t begin until late in July, which meant the champion wasn’t crowned until the middle of October. This led to a challenge for the start of the new 2020-2021 season which is nearly upon us.
Pre-Season has Begun
The pre-season training and gameplay began on December 1, and the new regular season will begin on December 22. For the eight teams that were left out of the bubble, this was the longest off-season in history for them, but for the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, it was the shortest. With only 71 days from the crowing of the Lakers to the start of the new season, it’s hard to say what the quality of play will be on Christmas Day.
The Matchups for Christmas Day
We will be given five amazing games to enjoy on the holiday and each one can be seen in its entirety. This day will feature the following games:
• New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat 12 PM
• Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks 2:30 PM
• Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics 5 PM
• Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers 8 PM
• Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets 10:30 PM
All times are Eastern and can give you a full slate of entertainment when you want to enjoy the most celebrated day in the NBA season. Most seem to think that professional basketball doesn’t truly begin until the Christmas Day games have been played, but this year it’s simply an early part of the season, which might feel more like a preseason slate of games considering the shortened time to prepare.
The Complete Season Hasn’t Been Released
Currently, the entire NBA schedule hasn’t been released to give us the games that we will see. The first half of the season isn’t even completed, but it’s on the way. The second half will have to wait. The reason for this is that the NBA wants to leave some extra time to make up games missed due to COVID-19 positive test results. The league is building in flexibility, which seems to be an intelligent approach.
Another Great Slate of Games
After a month of playing, there will be another great slate of games on a holiday that’s near and dear to the hearts of many Americans. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 19, the league will offer a full day of games with some matchups that have meaning for each team. This is an important date to mark on your calendar if you’re looking forward to some great basketball.
Cross Your Fingers for this Season
The smart decision to move to a bubble to finish last season paid off in many ways, but the NBA isn’t doing that for this new regular season. If the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t slow down or subside significantly, we might see the playoffs set up in a bubble, but that won’t be until late in the spring. Hopefully, by then, we won’t have to worry about this pandemic any longer.
Get Ready for a Fantastic Christmas Day Lineup
If you’re ready to watch some great basketball on Christmas Day, you’ll love the games that are part of the NBA schedule. While we don’t know exactly who will play, how long they will play, or what the quality of play will be, it will be fun to have one of our favorite holiday traditions on TV this year. Sit back, relax, and let these amazing athletes showcase their talents for you.