NBA schedule release: Christmas Day slate

Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA schedule has not yet been released for the full 72-game 2020-21 season slated to start in about three weeks. That will come in due time. However, tentative plans are already in place for the NBA Christmas Day schedule.

According to multiple media reports, there will be a total of five games on the NBA schedule for Christmas Day. The slate will start with the upstart New Orleans Pelicans taking on the defending Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat. It will conclude with the Los Angeles Clippers going up against the Denver Nuggets.

Related: Top 50 NBA players of 2020-21

NBA schedule release: Christmas Day slate

Talk about five pretty huge early-season games to get fans excited about the 2020-21 NBA schedule. Stars such as Zion Williamson, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard taking to the hardwood.

Let’s break these games down a bit below.

NBA schedule: New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat (12:00 PM EST)

To get things started, sophomore forward Zion Williamson will have an opportunity to prove himself against the defending NBA runner-ups Christmas morning. Williamson was on pace to break Wilt Chamberlain’s record as the most-efficient rookie scorer in league history when the season was suspended back in March. He ultimately averaged 22.5 points on a resounding 58% shooting from the field.

Related: Ranking NBA defenses

On the other side is a Heat team that surprised the masses by coming out of the Eastern Conference before taking on a vastly superior Lakers squad in the NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler and the recently-extended Bam Adebayo head this uber-fun group.

Christmas NBA schedule: Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks (11:30 PM EST)

Talk about storyline on top of storyline. We’ve all read the reports of Golden State’s interest in impending free agent and two-time reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. While it seems to be a long shot he’ll land with the Warriors next summer, that will be a major backdrop to this big game.

Related: Top Giannis Antetokounmpo trade scenarios

Giannis and his Bucks are coming off a surprising premature playoff exit in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season. The team added Jrue Holiday to the mix. Meanwhile, Golden State will returning a healthy Stephen Curry to team up with recently-acquired star forward Kelly Oubre and rookie No. 2 pick James Wiseman. This should be fun.

NBA schedule: Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics (5:00 PM EST)

I, for one, hope fans will be in attendance for this game at TD Garden in Boston. However unlikely that is, seeing Kyrie Irving take to his old stomping grounds after his ugly exit from Boston following the 2018-2019 NBA season would be fun.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Celtics, check out #Celtics rumors, rankings, and news here.

As for the game itself, this could pit the top-two teams in the Eastern Conference against one another. Irving and Kyrie Irving take on stud forward Jayson Tatum. Heck, there might be another former NBA MVP ready to suit up for one of these teams.

NBA schedule: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers (8:00 PM EST)

NBA schedule: Lakers-Mavericks, Christmas Day
Oct 11, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and forward Anthony Davis (3) celebrate during the fourth quarter in game six of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. The Los Angeles Lakers won 106-93 to win the series. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsMandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic. This third-year Mavericks guard could very well end up replacing LeBron James as the face of the NBA moving forward. What he did last season as a sophomore was nothing short of extraordinary. The 21-year-old former lottery pick averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists, joining King James in some elite company in the process.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Lakers, check out #LakeShow rumors, rankings, and news here

Needless to say, Doncic and his Mavericks will want to make a major statement against the defending NBA champs. Meanwhile, James and Anthony Davis are hellbent on repeating as NBA champs. As you relax from Christmas dinner, tune in to ABC for this elite matchup.

NBA schedule on Christmas Day: Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets (10:30 PM EST)

For those on the east coast, this one might be difficult to stay up for. Have some coffee and mix it with adult beverages for some good time. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George hoping to rebound from last season’s premature playoff exit. Both players potentially set to move on from the Clippers in free agency next summer.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Clippers, check out #ClipperNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

On the other hand, Jamal Murray proved himself to be an absolute star en route to leading the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs last season. We’re sure Murray will want to make a statement against these two future Hall of Famers.