ESPN has confirmed the slate of five NBA games for Christmas Day. The schedule was not supposed to be released until 2pm today. After the New York Times published a report listing the five games this morning, ESPN confirmed the lineup.
Noon – Milwaukee Bucks @ New York Knicks (ESPN)
3pm – Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets (ABC)
5:30pm – Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics (ABC)
8pm – Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors (ESPN)
10:30pm – Portland Trail Blazers @ Utah Jazz (ESPN)
This schedule confirms that the NBA is drawing from a number of different pots for its Christmas Day games. There are teams lead by the sport’s biggest stars, teams that are perennially in the playoffs, brand name teams, and upstart teams lead by young stars. The games will air on ESPN and ABC. All times listed are Eastern.
Noticeably absent from the lineup are the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Toronto radio host and media writer for The Athletic Richard Deitsch had tweeted yesterday that fans of the team were hoping for a national platform to show off what the addition of Kawhi Leonard has done for the team. The Cavs have been dropped after LeBron James left Cleveland for Los Angeles.