Christmas Day and NBA basketball go hand to hand like Rudolph and Santa’s sleigh. The long-standing tradition started during the NBA’s second season in 1947 and the 73rd edition will be like no other. Due to the pandemic, the 2020-21 NBA season tipped off on December 22nd after the previous season ended on October 11, 2020, in the Bubble.
With over 13 hours of NBA coverage, this year’s Christmas showcase will present previous MVPs going against some of the league’s future stars in what are sure to be hardwood classics. There will not be fans in attendance at any of the games on Christmas Day; however, we have you covered on how to watch all five games below.
The Games – Start Times and Channel
|New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat||12:00 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks||2:30 p.m. ET||ABC|
|Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics||5:00 p.m. ET||ABC|
|Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers||8:00 p.m.||ABC/ESPN|
|Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets||10:30 p.m. ET||ESPN|
ESPN will be home to the noon broadcast, as the first game of the day is sure to be a tone-setter. The 2019 No.1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans travel to the Sunshine State to take on the defending Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat led by Jimmy Butler. These 2 teams played in the preseason with the Heat winning 114-92. The Heat will be looking to change their fortunes with this game actually counting in the record books.
The first game of a tripleheader on ABC sees a battle between a former MVP and the reigning MVP as Seth Curry’s Golden State Warriors travel to Cream City to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks. Both players have a lot to prove with Antetokounmpo recently signing an extension to stay in Milwaukee, while Curry is coming back from an injury-riddled 2019-20 season.
The second game on ABC is a game that could be called a Christmas Day revenge game as Kyrie Irving looks to play the role of the Grinch in his return to The Garden to take on his former team the Boston Celtics. Former league MVP and current Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant will be playing his first road game since tearing his Achilles on June 10, 2019, during game 6 of the NBA Finals.
The primetime game is so important that it will be aired on ABC and ESPN. This gift for the fans will be a battle between a young phenom and former Rookie of the Year Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks traveling to the Staples Center to take on 4-time MVP LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. This game may be looked back upon in the annals of history as a passing of the torch, or a game where The King protected his throne.
The third game on ESPN will be a playoff rematch as Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers head to Ball Arena to avenge their postseason collapse against the Denver Nuggets. There was a lot of trash talk between these two teams in The Bubble last season, it will be interesting to see if it continues, or will everyone be in the holiday spirit.
Where to watch the NBA on Christmas Day
Most cord cutters can watch the ABC games for free with an antenna. AntennaWeb is a great tool you can use to see what channels the game will be available on in your area.
Cord cutters without an antenna can watch the NBA on Christmas by subscribing to any streaming service that carries ABC, ESPN or by using the Watch ESPN app. Choosing from any of these subscription services below has its benefits because there are no hidden fees, you can cancel anytime with most offering a free trial for new subscribers.
- AT&T TV Now: Subscribers to AT&TV Now can watch all 5 games on ABC, ESPN, and over 45 other channels for only $55/month with their Plus package. 500 hours of DVR is included so you won’t miss your team’s victories on the hardwood, and you can record your other favorite shows.
- Hulu + Live TV: For only $65/month, Hulu + Live TV gives you access to ESPN, ABC, over 65 channels, and access to Hulu’s large library of content including exclusive shows and movies. With 50 hours of Cloud DVR included you’ll be able to record the Christmas Day slate, and much more.
- fuboTV: Perhaps the best sports-orientated streaming service is fuboTV because subscribers can watch ESPN, ABC, over 130 events in 4K, and 110 channels, starting at $64.99/month. 250 hours of Cloud DVR means there is plenty of room to save your favorite events.
- YouTube TV: For $65/month, YouTube TV is a great service for watching ESPN, ABC, and over 85 other channels. With unlimited Cloud DVR storage, it’s the perfect place to record your favorite games, catch up on all of the buildup for the week, analyst predictions, and have the ability to come back to it at season’s end.
- Vidgo: For $55/month, Vidgo gives you access to all 5 Christmas Day games on ESPN and ABC, plus over 85 other channels. The service offers 24 hour playback on popular programming, and right now, new and returning subscribers can take advantage of a promotional price of $10/mo. for the first 2 months.
- Sling Orange: The Sling Orange package is only $30/month and it includes 10 hours of Cloud DVR storage. Sling is one of the most affordable services to watch all the NBA games on ESPN, and it comes with over 30 other channels. ABC is not included.
Enjoy watching the highlights from the biggest stars the NBA has to offer this Christmas.