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Christmas Day is here and, as always, NBA has a few special matches scheduled for this festive day. While the ongoing COVID situation has affected the rosters and we won’t see all of the best players step on the court today, we should still enjoy some exciting Christmas games.
So, let’s take a closer look at the schedule for NBA Christmas Day and what we can expect from the games.
Atlanta Hawks (15-16) @ New York Knicks (14-18)
When this game was scheduled, the expectations were that we will see a duel between two playoffs teams. After all, the Hawks reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season, while the Knicks were in the playoffs after a long time. In fact, this is a repeat of last season’s first round of playoffs. However, both teams have been playing below the expectations this season and, unfortunately, many players will miss this game on both sides.
The home team will be without injured Rose, Samanic, and House Jr, while Noel, Quickley, McBride, Barrett, and Knox are in health and safety protocols. Meanwhile, the Hawks will miss Hunter and Hill with injuries, while Reddish and Wright are questionable. In addition to this, Huerter, Iwundu, Okongwu, Young, Capela, Williams, Gallinari, and Luwawu-Cabarot are out due to COVID.
Kickoff Time: 12 pm ET
Where to Watch: ESPN
Milwaukee Bucks (21-13) @ Boston Celtics (16-16)
The second game of the day will be played in Boston where the Celtics will host the reigning champions. The Bucks are currently third in the East, while the Celtics are in the last playoff spot at the moment. Also, the Bucks are sparred the problems with personnel at the moment since they only have a few injured players – Lopez and DiVincenzo are out, while Giannis Antetokounmpo is questionable.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are in the same boat as many other teams and they’ll struggle to put out a team due to injuries and COVID. Smart, Langford, Horford, and Juancho Hernangomez are questionable with injuries, while Williams, Jackson, Nesmith, Miles, Kanter, Richardson, and Fernando are in health and safety protocols.
Kickoff Time: 2:30 pm ET
Where to Watch: ABC
Golden State Warriors (26-6) @ Phoenix Suns (26-5)
The main treat of the day is the duel between two top teams in the Western Conference and in the entire NBA right now – the Suns and the Warriors. The game will be played in Phoenix and we can expect a very exciting duel, especially since the Suns will be looking to get revenge for a recent loss to the Warriors.
That being said, the Suns will have a bit of an advantage since they aren’t hit by the ongoing COVID outbreak and they will only be without Kaminsky, Saric, and Nader due to injuries. On the other hand, the Warriors are without Thompson, Wiseman, and Igoudala who are injured, as well as players in health and safety protocols – Moody, Wiggins, Poole, and Lee.
Kickoff Time: 5 pm ET
Where to Watch: ABC
Brooklyn Nets (21-9) @ Los Angeles Lakers (16-17)
When Christmas Day games were scheduled, the Lakers vs Nets duel in LA should’ve been the main feature of the evening, which is why the game is in prime time. However, only the Nets have been up to the task so far since they are first in the East, while the Lakers are below 0.500 at the moment.
Furthermore, both teams will miss some of their stars in this match. The Lakers are without Davis who has a knee injury, while Lebron is questionable, but likely to play. The team will also be without Nunn, Bazemore, Ariza, Monk, Bradley, and Reaves who are in health and safety protocols. The Nets are in similar situation with Durant, Irving, Aldridge, Harris, and a few others out with COVID and injuries.
Kickoff Time: 8 pm ET
Where to Watch: ABC, ESPN
Dallas Mavericks (15-16) @ Utah Jazz (22-9)
Once again, the Jazz are looking like one of the best teams in the league during the regular season and it remains to be seen whether they can translate this to the playoffs when the time comes. Meanwhile, the Jazz will host the Mavericks this Christmas Day and they are the clear favorites.
After all, the Mavs will be without their main man Luka Doncic, along with Bullock, Hardaway Jr, Kleber, Burke, Cauley-Stein, and McLaughlin, who are out with COVID. Also, Porzingis is still not cleared to play with a toe injury and it will be a game-time decision. On the other hand, the Jazz are fully fit and ready to rumble.
Kickoff Time: 10:30 pm ET
Where to Watch: ESPN