Lakers, Celtics Among Teams Hosting Christmas Day Games

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets that the NBA has set its Christmas Day schedule for 2020/21.

Woj emphasizes that the currently starry five games scheduled are “tentative.” That’s likely due to the risk of COVID-19 cases preventing certain contests, rather than the league continuing to finalize the schedule.

ESPN reporters Andrew Lopez, Eric Woodyard, Nick Friedell, Dave McMenamin, and Ohm Youngmisuk have weighed in on the five scheduled games.

Here’s the full list of anticipated Christmas Day matchups, per Woj’s reporting:

  • New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat, 12 p.m. EST
  • Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks, 2:30 p.m. EST
  • Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics, 5 pm. EST
  • Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers, 8 p.m. EST
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. EST

All four 2020 conference finalists will be present, though none will be facing each other. The champion Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis and filled out by a revamped roster of role players, will host the Mavericks, looking to take a leap in the standings after rising superstar Luka Doncic‘s first All-Star season.

The Eastern Conference champion Heat, fronted by Jimmy Butler and newly-extended Bam Adebayo, will host another Western Conference club with a promising rep from the NBA’s next wave of superstars, the Pelicans and second-year forward Zion Williamson.

The Nuggets/Clippers matchup should feature plenty of fireworks, as Los Angeles faced ample scrutiny for letting go of the rope enough for Denver to climb all the way out of a 3-1 deficit to win their second-round matchup during the 2020 playoffs.

The Celtics will square off against the formidable Nets, piloted by a newly healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, will do battle with Durant’s old club, the Warriors, led by a former two-time MVP of their own in Stephen Curry. Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have recorded league-leading regular season records, only to fall short of the Finals in the playoffs during each of the last two seasons. Milwaukee is no doubt hopeful that its offseason makeover will amend that. The Warriors, meanwhile, saw their championship hopes jeopardized after All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson incurred an Achilles tear that will sideline him for the entire season.

The Raptors, Rockets and Sixers, three perennial playoff clubs that (currently) have two All-Stars apiece, appear to be the biggest snubs this season, although the fate of Houston’s two All-Stars remains in flux.

Assuming every game happens as scheduled, which December 25 bout are you most excited for in 2020? Are there any teams or matchups you’re disappointed to see (or not see) listed? Let us know what you think in our comments section!

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39 thoughts on “Lakers, Celtics Among Teams Hosting Christmas Day Games

  1. Sillivan

    Rockets were blown out by Warriors last Christmas Day

    How many consecutive Christmas games Warriors have played?

    Why no Rockets?

          • tward09

            How often do they compete and then not even make the finals? You see, my Warriors compete, and MAKE the Finals, at least, and have a good record the last decade in the Finals

            • Little_Dunker_45

              Who went farther last year golden warriors or rockets? Hmm…I’ll wait. No their the best though…

              • implant

                One winner and 29 losers. Rockets are just one of the 29. Was nice seeing the Lakers finish what the Warriors started, the demise of the Rockets coach and GM. Now your left with a cheap ass owner. Good times

              • tward09

                Well you don’t need an answer to that question, but who has been better the last decade? Hint: It’s not the Rockets

                • Little_Dunker_45

                  Genius! let’s schedule christmas day games based on teams records from 5 years ago. U must be a great marketing intern at a prestigious firm. Dint get hurt falling off the bandwagon

                  • tward09

                    I’m not a bandwagon, never have been. I’ve been a Giants and Warriors fan since I was born. Don’t group me with all the bandwagons

    • seamaholic

      Rockets = most boring team in the NBA. And that includes the Kings. Looks like the league finally realized that.

      • Little_Dunker_45

        I’d rather watch Harden with a chip on his shoulder and westbrook throwing his body at the boards than a geriatric steph curry spiking his gatorade with metamucil. Let’s see u whine about kawaii load management when steph plays 10 games this season…in a diaper

        • implant

          Nobody cares about Hardens chip. Old news. They ain’t going anywhere. Poorly constructed team. Delusional fans. Enjoy title #18. Oh yeah, most would want to watch Steph instead of James

      • siggers84

        The Kings aren’t boring.. they’re just not a great team. DeAaron Fox is definitely not boring to watch.

  2. DynamiteAdams

    Sixers, Rockets, Knicks all lost their Christmas day game slots. I like these matchups tho

      • No game including the Knicks is worth watching, so I don’t think that is a relevant question. The answer is…”who cares?”

  3. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Obviously they’re not going to have the 10 best teams all playing on Christmas this year.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Zion, Luka get games by default. Celtics, Lakers, obviously. Nets have a ton of hype and kyrie in boston is a storyline. Clippers nuggets I guess because they were in the playoff picture, ok. Warriors bucks? People cant shut up about giannis..ok. warriors? I dont love the matchup. Outside vs inside. So that’s 10 teams. To your point some have to get cut thsyre not going to program 20 games. I’d rather see sixers bucks battle of the bugs. Or rockets Hornets westbrook vs lamelo. Could be interesting

  4. x%sure

    •I wonder if some of those teams can bounce back, but I worry least about Denver & Dallas.
    •Brooklyn should be the most interesting, most new. Irving must show vs Celts.
    •I hope Bam can ramble but I suspect he will be a 5, holding down the fort. Riley will say, I gave you all that money, no negotiating.
    •Caruso should be a starter. Once Schroder gets the nod again after backing up in OKC, he may be harder to manage, be less flexible.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Caruso won’t start, they’ll likely go with LBJ, AD, KCP, Matthews, and Gasol.

  5. x%sure

    Somehow the Bucks will make a point to crush GSW. It will be Jrue’s day to say hi big time.

  6. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Tier 1 – Lakers, Heat, Rockets
    Tier 2 – Bucks, Clippers, Nuggets
    Tier 3 – Blazers, Celtics, Raptors
    Tier 4 – Mavs, Jazz, Sixers
    Tier 5 – Nets, Suns, Pelicans
    Tier 6 – Pacers, Warriors, Grizzlies
    Tier 7 – Bulls, Magic, Spurs
    Tier 8 – Hawks, Wolves, Kings
    Tier 9 – Wizards, Pistons, Hornets
    Tier 10 – Cavs, Knicks, Thunder

    • implant

      I can see you haven’t gotten over that ass whoopin the Lakers have the Rockets.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Uh… The Rockets are at best probably a tier 3 the way you’ve laid that out, but more realistically probably in the tier 5 area. For giggles, explain to me how Houston is significantly better than the Nets? In my eyes both have one star- the Nets with Durant, and the Rockets with Harden. Both have a flawed complimentary piece- the Nets with Irving, and the Rockets with Westbrook. Brooklyn has guys who WANT to play together however in an easier conference. Outside of your fandom, logically how is one a tier 1 and the other a tier 5?

    • I'm a starboy not a Dr...

      Spurs will underachieve again,magic are a fringe mediocre playoff team,kings,pistons,thunder,knicks all stick suck & have not improved. Wiz with Wall back should be better, hornets are slightly better than they were last year(on paper).

  7. siggers84

    Nets tier 5?
    Pacers tier 6?

    Also just curious but why did you decide to split into ten tiers? Its impossible to do that when you got teams who are in a tier of their own (Lakers) and some tiers where multiple teams are of similar quality. e.g Trailblazers, Rockets, Mavs, Jazz. Obviously this is an opinion.

  8. siggers84

    This is how I see it at the moment. There’s a dash where I can’t see any difference in quality with the team above. I organise like this before I do some bets. I know everyones not going to agree with this. I’m not a big stats person.

    East
    1. Bucks
    2. Nets
    3. Heat
    – Celtics
    – Raptors
    – 76ers
    7. Pacers
    8. Hawks
    – Magic
    – Hornets
    – Wizards
    12. Pistons
    13. Bulls
    14. Knicks
    15. Cavs

    West
    1. Lakers
    2. Clippers
    3. Nuggets
    4. Trailblazers
    – Rockets
    – Mavericks
    – Jazz
    8. Suns
    9. Pelicans
    10. Kings
    – Grizzlies
    – Warriors
    13. Spurs
    14. Timberwolves
    15. Thunder

  9. I'm a starboy not a Dr...

    To me blazers will be higher than nuggets. Losing Grant & Craig will be felt for Denver. Portland really only has one new player (Covington) and he will improve their defense and provided a legit 3 & D guy that will benefit them…

  10. calihoops1

    Rockets with James Harden or any team with James Harden will be the worst team to watch. Thank god I don’t have to watch him iso dribble 400 times and lose to whoever.

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