Looking ahead to the biggest NBA games over the festive period

Warriors vs Grizzlies
The Grizzlies and Warriors feature in the most intriguing Christmas games. Photo from Grizzly Bear Blues.

The NBA seldom pauses with one of the busiest schedules in American sport, Christmas time is no exception. In an ever-changing playoff picture and with the teams all having about 50 games left to play, the season is far from over. Let’s look at the NBA Christmas games 2021.

Bucks @ Mavericks – December 23rd

The Bucks have one of the tighter festive schedules with five games to play between Christmas Eve and the new year arriving. What’s even worse for the franchise is the NBA Christmas injury report doesn’t make for good reading either. Three players have been sidelined with COVID-19, including two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, while Brook Lopez is a long-term absentee.

The Mavericks are on a roll, having scored over 100 points in each of the past five games – they’ve gone 3-2 over that period. The team is still gathering momentum. Jalen Brunson‘s production has been a bonus, with the Sixth Man of the Year candidate upping his production.

With both teams provisionally sitting in the lower ends of the playoff picture, this Christmas Eve game becomes more important than ever.

Grizzlies @ Warriors – December 23rd

Will there be a better display of Western Conference quality than the Grizzlies playing the Warriors?

Stephen Curry has put himself into MVP contention yet again. Curry has had his troubles with Memphis in the past, however, and he’ll be hoping for a dominant performance when these teams meet on Thursday.

The Grizzlies turn up to Chase Center looking for its 20th win of the season. Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks will undoubtedly hold the keys to any victory for the team given their firepower of late. Brooks even had a staggering 37-point game against the Trail Blazers. However, if anyone can stop him from scoring it’s the Warriors’ defence.

Nets @ Lakers – December 25th

Conference leaders against the most recognisable worldwide basketball brand? Oh, and it’s the New York-Los Angeles rivalry as the Nets play the Lakers. Oh wait! LeBron James is playing too! Could there a better way to spend the early hours of Boxing Day than watching this East meets West instant classic? Could it be a contender for the best NBA Christmas game in 2021?


Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash returns to the Staples Center having closed out his playing career with the Lakers. The Nets management has been rewarded for backing Nash to succeed as a coach. He beat the franchise post-season record (under the Brooklyn moniker) in his first season, narrowly losing 4-3 to the Bucks in the conference semi-finals. This season he’s picked up the mantle again, spearheading the team to a resounding 21-9 record, topping the Eastern Conference.

By comparison, the Lakers are in disarray. Before Christmas Eve, the team slumped to three consecutive defeats, even with LeBron posting a 34-point game against the Suns.

The last time the sides met LeBron was absent while the Nets ran riot. The road team won 123-97, with Cam Thomas averaging nearly a point a minute as he scored 21 points in just a 23 minute outing.

Bulls @ Wizards – January 1st

It’s a pivotal Eastern Conference clash as the Wizards host the Bulls at Capital One Arena on New Year’s Day.

Basketball nerds herald this game as the Michael Jordan derby, given the 6-time NBA champion only played for these two franchises.

Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine as well as Wizards’ Bradley Beal will be looking to keep up the high-scoring trend of this matchup.

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About Warren Lee 15 Articles
Self confessed sports addict, no doubt glued to a screen watching something.

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