The NBA schedule for Christmas Day is packed with games intended to grab the interest of fans. Five games are on the Christmas Day schedule, all with staggered start times so that viewers can watch them all. A report by ESPN shows that there are still tickets available for those games on the secondary market, but the commercial slots have already been sold. The full docket of games, including start times and the networks airing them, can be found at the end of this article.
The day starts out with the Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET. It’s a battle between two teams in the Atlantic Division that certainly want to put on a show. The Celtics and Knicks are both battling for second place in the division, though, as the Toronto Raptors continue to pull away for the No. 2 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
It is the second game on the Christmas Day NBA schedule that may have the most viewers tuning in. In a re-match of the 2016 NBA Finals, it is the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers. Game time is 11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET in what should be a really competitive matchup. This is the first time that Kevin Durant has played against the Cavs as a member of the Warriors, raising the excitement level in Ohio.
The stars are out in full force this year, with every game showcasing players who will likely be at the All-Star Game. Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul are just some of the elite talent that will be on the court. The young stars of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves will also get some center stage treatment by the NBA.
From the updated standings, four of the six first-place teams are in action during the 2016 Christmas Day NBA schedule. The Cleveland Cavaliers (22-6) lead the Central Division, the Oklahoma City Thunder (18-12) lead the Northwest Division, the Golden State Warriors (27-4) lead the Pacific Division, and the San Antonio Spurs (24-6) lead the Southwest Division. The L.A. Clippers and Boston Celtics are both second-place teams that are also in action on the big day.
The schedule maker made some great choices for the fans, as the three teams with the best records in the NBA all play on December 25. This should help bring viewers to ABC and ESPN, especially since the league doesn’t have to share a lot of the attention to the sports world. There are no NFL games on Christmas Day this year, with the league vacating its regular Sunday games and putting most of them on Saturday (Dec. 24). While that has been frustrating for some NFL fans, it means viewers looking to watch sports may tune to the NBA instead.
The Christmas Day NBA schedule has five games that take place in intervals throughout the day. It all begins at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET with Boston vs. New York and continues to the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET with the L.A. Lakers vs. L.A. Clippers. There is something for everyone on this day, as it includes teams that pride themselves on defense (San Antonio Spurs) as well as those that try to score as many points as possible (Golden State Warriors). It’s a big day for the league, with every player looking for a big game on national television.
Christmas Day NBA Schedule 2016
Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers, 11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs, 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET (ABC)
Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder, 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers, 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
[Featured Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]