Why are there no NBA games today on Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, features no games on the NBA schedule. Here's why.

Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons
Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Christmas Eve has arrived. Time to run to the store and grab any last-minute gifts or food you might need before most stores close their doors on Christmas Day.

If you're an NBA diehard worrying your last-minute errands will result in you missing out on NBA action, fear not. Sunday, Dec. 24 this year features no games on the schedule.

Why aren't there any NBA games today?

The simple reason is that it's Christmas Eve, and the NBA has historically kept this day on the schedule -- same as Thanksgiving -- free of any games so players, coaches, and team/arena staff members can take some time off and spend them with family. That rest is especially important for the teams and arenas hosting any of the five games on Christmas Day.

Then, Dec. 26 returns with a fully loaded slate of nine games.

NBA Christmas Day schedule

The NBA traditionally has put on an exciting Christmas Day slate. Though the NFL has encroached on its monopoly of the American professional sports cycle in recent years, Christmas Day is still first and foremost an NBA tradition.

This year, the NBA has scheduled five games tipping off from noon to 10:30 Eastern. Here's what will be on:

  • Bucks vs Knicks: 12:00 p.m.
  • Warriors vs Nuggets: 2:30 p.m.
  • Celtics vs Lakers: 5:00 p.m.
  • 76ers vs Heat: 8:00 p.m.
  • Mavericks vs Suns: 10:30 p.m.

The day starts with two winning Eastern Conference teams before giving us a similar matchup in the West. Though the Bucks and Nuggets are tiers above the Knicks and Warriors so far, there's still plenty of talent in these opening matchups.

The bridge is a classic and historic matchup between the Celtics and Lakers that the NBA held for Christmas Day, and closes out with the budding rivalry between the Sixers and Heat.

It all closes out with the Mavs and Suns taking the late slot in Phoenix.

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