Nets-Lakers and Hawks-Knicks leaked first as Christmas games.
Now, we know the full Dec. 25 NBA schedule (Eastern):
- Noon: Hawks at Knicks
- 2:30 p.m.: Celtics at Bucks
- 5 p.m.: Warriors at Suns
- 8 p.m.: Nets at Lakers
- 10:30 p.m.: Mavericks at Jazz
The 76ers are a somewhat surprising omission. They had the East’s best record last season. Unlike the other top teams not to get a Christmas game – Clippers (Kawhi Leonard injured) and Nuggets (Jamal Murray injured) – Philadelphia returns relatively intact. Though Ben Simmons trade talks obviously still loom.
Instead, that spot seemingly goes to Boston, which lost Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier and Tristan Thompson. The Celtics still have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as centerpieces, but there’s apparently plenty of hope within the league office Al Horford, Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson and internal development will add punch.
Phoenix became the team to outlast an at-all-healthy Golden State and win the West since 2014.