The NBA revealed its first portion of the 2018-19 schedule on Wednesday afternoon, as the nationally televised games for opening week, Christmas Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day became public. It’s always a fun day on the calendar, as it gives hoops fans the opportunity to start looking ahead to the marquee matchups we’ll see this season.
While the opening week and MLK Day slates are fun, all eyes go right to Christmas Day, as the NBA has established that as the premier day on its calendar. The league has spent years trying to own Christmas in the same way that the NFL owns Thanksgiving, and while that might be a lofty goal, the NBA has certainly made its presence felt on Christmas every year.
Before the remainder of the 2018-19 drops on Friday, we wanted to rank the games on the Christmas Day slate. All of them should be a ton of fun, but we wanted to rank them from “open presents while this is on in the background” to “tell your family that while you love them, you can’t miss this one.”
5. Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks
This game has the potential to be fun because when these teams played a year ago, Giannis Antetokounmpo jumped over Tim Hardaway Jr. and it was extremely cool. Here, watch it again.
Pretty good! However, this year’s Knicks team is a squad in transition, as new coach David Fizdale and a number of young players are working to build for the future, especially while Kristaps Porzingis is recovering from a torn ACL. The Bucks, meanwhile, should be a fun team — they have Giannis! — but they aren’t a team you’d think of to kick off Christmas day. This game might be more fun if Porzingis comes back, but otherwise, it is the weakest point on the Christmas slate.