There are few things as exciting as Christmas Day for NBA fans.
This isn’t just because of the time they get to spend with family and friends, but it’s also because the association saves some of its best competitions for December 25.
This year, we will be given the gifts of the Atlanta Hawks versus the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics against the champion Milwaukee Bucks, the Golden State Warriors at the Phoenix Suns, the Brooklyn Nets going against the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Dallas Mavericks taking on the Utah Jazz.
25% of NBA players this season have been in COVID protocols. pic.twitter.com/KUKTDRpv5G
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 21, 2021
As you can see, those are some huge games with a few of the biggest names in the game.
However, because of the current coronavirus surge raging across the country – and the league – you should expect that the schedule might change at any moment.
Omicron Takes Hold
As of this writing, there are more than 90 players currently in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Cade Cunningham, Trae Young, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Fred VanVleet are just some of the NBA mainstays that are sidelined since testing positive for the virus, leaving multiple teams high and dry without some of their largest talents.
Because of this seemingly-endless outbreak in the league, several games have been postponed recently.
Yet, none of the games on Christmas Day have been affected as of now.
This is all happening as numerous events across the country and world are being postponed or canceled due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The current outbreak within the NBA is the largest one yet and is leading to the most uncertainty.
However, there is little chance that league officials will touch the pivotal Christmas Day schedule but the virus might force their hand.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has recently spoken about the coronavirus situation and said that there were no plans to pause the season as they did when COVID-19 first gripped the country in 2020.
Adam Silver says there are no plans to stop the NBA season
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 21, 2021
He also said they were trying to avoid any alterations to the Christmas Day lineup.
But what happens if teams lose too many players?
According to regulations, each team needs at least eight players to be able to participate in a game.
There have already been a few games postponed because teams were lacking that magic number.
Therefore, if any of the games on Christmas Day are affected by a lack of players, there will be no choice but to delay the game by a few days.
Take the Nets for example: they currently have a whopping 10 members in COVID protocols so there’s a chance they could lose more and fall below the eight-player threshold.
This is probably the only way that the NBA will be impacted on December 25.
Even if a game or two is subjected to changes, the NBA will definitely move around those that remain.
That’s because the NBA is adamant about filling the ABC time slots of 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m.
Those are the best hours for ratings and the most important for both the NBA and ABC.
So if the virus does require changes, you can bet those three time slots will somehow be filled.
It’s a strange time for the world and there is so much changing because of the coronavirus.
But, as of now, Christmas will still be a huge present to NBA fans.NEXT: Should The Hawks Regret Not Keeping Luka Doncic?