Brooklyn Nets fans wanted to see a Christmas Day matchup laying under their tree, instead, they got a lump of coal.
The Brooklyn Nets haven’t seen Christmas Day action since the 2013/14 season, and despite being fresh off the heels of a playoff berth and possessing a strong roster—even without Kevin Durant—their streak of misfortune on the merriest day of the year will continue.
When looking at the Eastern Conference matchups, putting whatever bias you may have aside, you can’t say the teams gifted the opportunity aren’t deserving of it.
The Toronto Raptors are the NBA’s defending champions, and even though they have had significant departures this offseason, they’re still a very good team and are once again, for those who didn’t hear me loud enough, the NBA’s defending champions. They haven’t had a Christmas Day matchup since 2001, despite having very strong rosters in that timeframe—this was a long time coming.
Likewise, the Boston Celtics are going to be competitive in the east next season; pinning the Atlantic Division foes against each other on Christmas Day isn’t a bad decision.
I know there are many—myself included—that would’ve liked to see Kyrie Irving’s return to TD Garden on Christmas Day, but we are getting it nearly a month earlier; so that’s at least a nice consolation prize.
Lastly, the Bucks and Sixers are two teams likely to meet in the later rounds of the NBA playoffs next season and will be in contention for the top seed in the east. This is a fun matchup and one that does make sense.
What did come as a bit of a surprise, however, is that not just the Nets, but the Knicks also, will not be playing on Christmas Day. The New York Knicks have played the most games on Christmas than any other organization in league history (53), and there was definitely intrigue surrounding a crosstown matchup between the Nets and Knicks.
Brooklyn fans have their fair share of marquee matchups entering next season but not being involved in the Christmas festivities is a little disheartening. Maybe the 2020/21 season ends the streak.