Nuggets to Host Christmas Day Game
Last week, the NBA announced the league’s full slate of games set to take place on Christmas Day.
As expected, the Denver Nuggets will be in action on Christmas Day, and the NBA has given them a juicy matchup.
The Denver Nuggets will host the LA Clippers in a rematch of a playoff series from a season ago. It was the Nuggets that eliminated the heavily-favored Clippers in a seven-game series after Denver fell behind 3-1.
This is the second straight year that the Nuggets will be hosting a game on Christmas Day, and it is their seventh time in franchise history playing on Dec. 25. There are five games scheduled on Christmas Day, and the Nuggets will be the final game of the evening.
The Miami Heat will host the New Orleans Pelicans in the first game on Christmas Day. Miami was in the NBA Finals a season ago, and the Pelicans feature Zion Williamson.
The second game of the day will feature the Milwaukee Bucks hosting the Golden State Warriors. In the third game of the day, it will be the Boston Celtics hosting the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are expected to have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the court for the first time together this season.
The primetime game will feature the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas is one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA, but it will be an underdog against LeBron James and the Lakers.
Denver will tip off the 2020-21 season with a home game against the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 23. Six of the team’s first eight games of the season will be at home, with the other two games coming against Western Conference teams.
The NBA is releasing the schedule in two parts, and only the first half of the schedule has been announced for the Nuggets. Denver will play just 72 regular-season games this season as the league has forced to remove 10 games from the traditional schedule.
NBA Warns Teams that Violate Protocols
The league also sent out a memo to teams this week to warn them of potential sanctions for violating league health and safety protocols. Players and team officials finished the 2019-20 season in a bubble, but that will not be in effect this season.
The league is worried about a potential COVID-19 spread that will force the postponement of rescheduling of games. If this does occur, the league will be looking at handing down fines and suspensions for anyone caught breaking protocol.
Another potential punishment that will be used by the league is in-season quarantine or loss of game checks for players. The league is hoping that players and teams will all understand the magnitude and what is at stake of trying to play through a pandemic.
A 158-page Health and Safety handbook was distributed to teams on Saturday, and all of the new protocols are highlighted in that memo. The league also outlined the process for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine if and when it becomes available.
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