The NBA Christmas Day slate is usually the more anticipated day of the entire season. This year, it’s a bit different. With the re-emergence of the COVID-19 virus and another outbreak taking place across North America, the NBA X-Mas Day slate is in jeopardy of losing games. If nothing else, it could be missing a few high-profile superstars who won’t be able to play due to injuries/COVID protocols. Let’s take a look at the full schedule and TV info the slate.
NBA Christmas Day 2021 Schedule
Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns, 5 p.m. ET, ABC
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 8 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Both the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks are dangling at the edge of the playoff picture heading into Christmas Day. Each after making the postseason in 2020-21, the Hawks defeating the Knicks in five games in the first round. The NBA scheduled these two teams because of Trae Young vs. the MSG crowd. Young taunted the fans during the series and now will have to go back to New York to face them again if he’s able to play.
Young, along with C Clint Capela and SF Danilo Gallinari, are in health and safety protocols. It’s unclear if any of them will be able to play in this game. If the Hawks deal with more outbreaks, the League could opt to move the game to a later date.
The Boston Celtics are another team underperforming while the Bucks have lifted themselves back into the top half of the Eastern Conference. Boston is another team dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak and could be missing players. Al Horford, Grant Williams, Josh Richardson, Brodric Thomas and Jabari Parker are all in question.
The Warriors-Suns game pits the top two teams in the Western Conference against each other. We know Klay Thompson isn’t going to be able to return for this contest. Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins are both in question due to protocols. C James Wiseman is also close to returning but not on X-Mas. These two teams split a back-to-back set earlier in the season.
The Nets-Lakers game would have featured six All-Stars had COVID-19 not been a thing. Well, at least five. PF Anthony Davis is out due to injury. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving were all in COVID protocols. Irving just rejoined the team and is expected to play part-time on the road. Harden was cleared and will play on Christmas. KD we’re still awaiting word on his status as of Friday afternoon.
The night cap on X-Mas may not be as strong as you’d like. Luka Doncic is dealing with an ankle injury and won’t play. The Mavericks also have Kristaps Porzingis out with a toe injury. This could be one of the more lopsided contests in X-Mas day history. The Jazz are starting to peak having won 10 of their past 12 games heading into Dec. 25.