With the season roughly two months away, several upcoming marquee matchups have started to leak online, including those on one of the NBA’s biggest days of the year.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania was the first to reveal the NBA’s 2022 Christmas Day schedule, and the games appear as followed:
Bucks at Celtics
76ers at Knicks
Suns at Nuggets
Lakers at Mavericks
Grizzlies at Warriors
*Whether or not those are listed in their anticipated broadcast order is unclear.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, and Nikola Jokic all landing on the Nice List, there is no question fans are in store for a star-studded holiday. But I don’t think anyone would call this the perfect Christmas slate.
Look, I know the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers reside in two of the NBA’s biggest markets, but they were also two of the NBA’s biggest disappointments last season. The Lakers are fresh off an embarrassing 33-49 campaign where they even failed to crack the Play-In Tournament. Meanwhile, the Knicks followed up a surprising playoff appearance in 2020-21 with an ugly 37-45 record. So what makes either worthy of a Christmas Day appearance (and, yes, I know it’s basically tradition at this point to include LA)?
Again, I recognize that viewership is all the NBA cares about, but then why not include another major market team that is fresh off their best season in nearly half a decade?
I seriously thought this would be the year we see Chicago back under the Christmas spotlight. Not only do they attract plenty of eyeballs, but they are coming off a year where they earned their most wins since the 2014-15 season. Not to mention, they have a reigning All-Star duo of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Sure, I might be biased, but I’m sure plenty would take that over two reigning 11th-place teams!
Oh, well. At least the consolation prize for the Bulls is spending even more time with family. As much as I would love to cozy up by the fire and watch a game, I’m happy they’ll have the day off.