Although not much is known about the 2022/23 schedule, two Christmas Day games have already been leaked. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers are expected to visit the Mavericks for the holiday and the Warriors will host the Grizzlies.
All four teams are natural selections for the Christmas showcase, considering their popularity and talent level. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry and Ja Morant should all be good for holiday ratings.
The NBA traditionally schedules five games for December 25, and it’s important to have a strong lineup this year because the league will be competing with three NFL games. With six slots left to fill, let’s look at some of the teams that will be under consideration.
As defending Eastern Conference champions, the Celtics seem like a lock for Christmas Day, as do the Heat, who lost in a seven-game conference finals. Both teams have last year’s lineups returning virtually intact and figure to be at the top of the East again. The Sixers have perennial All-Stars in Joel Embiid and James Harden, while the Bucks are also a title contender and sport two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Knicks represent the league’s biggest television market and are in a strong position to trade for Donovan Mitchell. The Nets are the wild card in the East because of the uncertain future of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who are a guaranteed ratings draw if they’re still on the team.
Out West, the Suns will get strong Christmas Day consideration after posting the league’s best record last season. The Clippers should be in the running if schedule makers expect Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to be fully recovered from last year’s injuries, and the Nuggets also have a two-time MVP in Nikola Jokic. A chance to showcase Zion Williamson could put the Pelicans in the running for a holiday game, while the young talent on the Timberwolves makes them an intriguing possibility as well.
We want to get your opinion. Which six teams would you add to the Christmas Day schedule and how would you match them up? Please leave your answer in the space below.