What is the NBA schedule over the holidays?
While the NBA is making contingency plans in case any of the Christmas Day games need to be postponed, marquee games remain scheduled on Saturday.
Christmas Day is a big day for the NBA.
This year, even with the global covid-19 outbreak that’s taking over many of the big leagues, the NBA is still scheduled to have five games on Christmas Day, including must-see matches of the league’s brightest stars.
However, to avoid any unplanned surprises, the league started to make contingency plans in case shifting some games is a possibility. They further stated that any decisions could come as late as Friday.
What are the NBA Christmas Day games in 2021?
The NBA plans to prioritize filling the ABC windows for Saturday’s games, meaning the 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET time slots. Those games would be Boston at Milwaukee, Golden State at Phoenix and Brooklyn at the Los Angeles Lakers, on National TV.
The other two games, scheduled to show on ESPN, are Atlanta at New York and Dallas at Utah.
Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, shared Tuesday that the league is not planning to pause the season. "This virus will not be eradicated, and we're going to have to learn to live with it," Silver said.
NBA not planning to pause the 2021 season
The NBA has about 75 players who have entered safety protocols just this week, and a total of 100 who have been dealing with the virus since the start of the season. Seven games have been postponed so far.
From the 10 teams scheduled to play on Saturday, over 30 players have been in the protocols on Tuesday evening. With 10 Nets players on that list, Brooklyn is the hardest-hit team in the league.
NBA Players in protocols
Other top NBA players who were added to protocols include Toronto's Fred VanVleet and Atlanta’s Danilo Gallinari and Clint Capela, joining a Hawks list that already had Trae Young away.
In hopes to minimize the postponement of games, the league is allowing teams to sign replacements to 10-day hardship contracts when a player tests positive for the virus.
While Lakers coach Frank Vogel and four players remain out due to protocols, Dwight Howard and Talen Horton-Tucker are expected to play Tuesday night against Phoenix.