Update: Even though there are contingencies in place for the Christmas slate, NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league has no plans to stop or pause the season at this time.
Commissioner Adam Silver joined NBA Today to talk about COVID in the league as Christmas Day approaches.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) December 21, 2021
Silver said there are currently no plans to pause the season. pic.twitter.com/LFIPCCejnQ
The NBA has informed the 10 teams playing on Christmas Day this year to be ready for start times to shift, per reports. The League could move game times in the ABC slots from 2:30 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET windows. Below we’ll go over the full schedule and which teams could be missing some key players.
Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks, 12 p.m. ET
Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 2:30 p.m. ET
Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns, 5 p.m. ET
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 8 p.m. ET
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET
It seems the three middle games could be moved. We know the Nets, Celtics and Warriors are dealing with more COVID-19 cases lately and players in health and safety protocols. There’s a chance Kevin Durant and James Harden clear in time for the Christmas Day games. You’d think the NBA wouldn’t allow the Nets to play without at least one of those players. The Mavericks are dealing with an injury to Luka Doncic, who has been out since Dec. 12 due to an ankle issue.
This could end up being one of the worst Christmas Day slates in recent memory. The Knicks, Hawks, Celtics, Mavericks and Lakers have all underperformed up to this point in the season. The Nets could be rolling out a glorified G League team. Really, the most exciting game is Warriors vs. Suns, which should have both teams close to full-strength.