The NBA Christmas Day game schedule will not feature the top seeded East team.
For the second straight season the Miami Heat have been snubbed on the NBA Christmas Day game schedule, assuming reports from national NBA reporters are accurate.
The 2022 edition of one of the NBA’s busiest days in the regular season calendar will include the following matchups, as per The Athletic’s Shams Charania:
Out of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference standings last season only one team will not play on Christmas Day: Miami, who was the number-one seed and made it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
In addition to that fact, out of the final eight teams who advanced to the conference semi-finals in the last playoffs, the Heat are the only team who won’t play on the holiday slate.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and New York Knicks are the non-semifinalists who made the cut. Denver has the reigning two-time league MVP, Nikola Jokic, which justifies their inclusion; the Lakers have LeBron James, that’s more than enough; but the Knicks? Really? Again?
Dating back to the last 10 years, New York has played on Christmas Day seven times. They’ve won once (against a Hawks team that didn’t have Trae Young) while losing the other 6 games by an average margin of 12 points per contest.
Meanwhile Miami just so happens to have the best winning percentage in NBA Christmas Day history (11-2, .846%).
But, sure, why watch Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, and Tyler Herro on Christmas Day against Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey? Why watch arguably the NBA’s best head coach, Erik Spoelstra, go up against Doc Rivers? Why watch PJ Tucker go up against his former team? Why watch two squads that just recently battled in a six-game playoff series, with a rivalry brewing?
Why watch all of that when we can once again watch the Knicks come crashing down to Earth in Madison Square Garden? It’s a tale as old as time.
Is the reason because Miami’s NFL counterpart, the Miami Dolphins, are playing on Christmas Day as well? Well, the Dolphins are taking on the Green Bay Packers, whose NBA counterpart, the Bucks, will go up against the Celtics.
Miami was snubbed once again and it’s been happening consistently over the last few seasons, not just on Christmas Day. A trend is starting to build here, which is a damn shame given how good of a team they are.