Seven Aussies set to feature on NBA’s Christmas games

The NBA have ensured Aussie basketball fans will have a very merry Christmas this year, with seven Australians set to take to the floor on December 25.

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the NBA’s 2018/19 Christmas day games will feature the following match-ups:

  • Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
  • LA Lakers at Golden State Warriors
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz

Three of the contests will contain at least two Aussies, with three potentially set to feature in the Philadelphia/Boston game.

Ben Simmons — with NBA newcomer Jonah Bolden — will lead Philadelphia against Aron Baynes and the Boston Celtics. Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker will do battle against New York, while Joe Ingles and Dante Exum will face their division rival Trail Blazers in Portland.

For Simmons and Baynes, playing on Christmas day is nothing new. Both Aussies suited up for their respective teams on the same day last year. For the other four though, being a part of the NBA’s marquee regular season day will be a new experience.

The Jazz last took to the court on Christmas day 21 years ago in 1997, while the Bucks haven’t featured on the holiday since 1977 — when they beat the Kansas City Kings.

Of course, due to the time difference between the United States and Australia, the games will begin in the early hours of Boxing Day in Australia, stretch through the morning and into the afternoon. So if you want the entire fix of games, you’ll have to get up early!

The NBA is expected to make an official announcement tomorrow.

Kyle Standfield

Written by

Student journalist covering Aussies in the NBA for The Pick and Roll. Follow me on twitter @KyleStandfield

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