The New York Knicks fans are celebrating the Christmas Day schedule. They are not only celebrating playing on Christmas against the Philadelphia 76ers, but they’re also celebrating the fact that their archrival Atlanta Hawks are not.
Christmas Day games are special. Even if Santa passed you by it was okay because the NBA was coming on at noon eastern time. It didn’t matter what teams were playing, it was basketball on Christmas Day.
Last Christmas: New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks
The 2021 Christmas schedule called for the Knicks to play the Hawks. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Trae Young was on the NBA COVID protocol list. But most everyone else played. John Collins recalls watching the NBA on Christmas Day.
The last time the Hawks played on Christmas Day was in 1989 so I guess this was a big deal for them. Hawks’ Coach Nate McMillan had this to say:
It’s a game that I think a lot of players dream of, having that opportunity to play on Christmas Day…they always think about the times when they’re sitting home at Christmas and watching NBA games, so that’s something that’s been going on for a long time.
The Knicks’ Julius Randle and Kemba Walker were on their games against Atlanta. Randle had 25 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists. Walker had a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. The Knicks defeated the Hawks 101-87. You can’t excuse the loss on Trae Young not playing. The Knicks defeated the Hawks 3-1 last season.
The Hawks’ Collins led his team with 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Cam Reddish, who is now a Knick, helped him with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Don’t think it’s passed me by that the Brooklyn Nets are also off the 2022 Christmas schedule.
Christmas 2022 – New York Knicks vs Sixers
This year, it’s James Harden’s chance to play at Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day. Harden along with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, are marching into the Garden. They’re not bringing tidings of comfort and joy. Harden announced it in a short tweet.
Of course, there has been a flurry of tweets and memes on Sixers’ Twitter. Does this say the Knicks have no chance of winning this Christmas or does it mean it will be a boring game?
At this point, no one even knows what the New York Knicks will look like on Christmas Day. There has been nothing new on the Donovan Mitchell trade in days, and that was just to say “there’s nothing new.”
I am of the mind that the Knicks should wait on a Donovan Mitchell trade, and see how the new lineup with Jalen Brunson works, before sending their young players and all their picks to Danny Ainge and the Utah Jazz.
October is around the corner
The Knicks’ preseason begins on October 4th with the Detroit Pistons coming into the Garden. The Knicks then welcome the Indiana Pacers on the seventh before traveling to Indiana on the 12th and finally hosting the Washington Wizards at home on October 14th. It will be interesting to see what this iteration of the Knicks looks like during the preseason and moving forward into the regular year.