Predicting NBA’s Christmas Day schedule: Timberwolves get snubbed again

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images) /

The preseason schedule for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2023-24 is officially out. Now, Wolves fans will await the release of the full schedule for the NBA season. Historically, the league has usually released the schedule around the third week of August.

One of the most notable occasions in any NBA season is the Christmas Day slate of games. Every season since 1947, the league has put together a handful of exciting matchups on Christmas Day for fans to take in as they enjoy the holiday with family.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been involved in just two Christmas Day games in their history. 2016 marked their first ever selection to play on December 25, and the following year remains their most recent appearance on Christmas.

Last summer, we hypothesized about whether or not the NBA would put the Timberwolves in a Christmas Day game. As we know, the league ultimately skipped over Anthony Edwards and the talented team from Minnesota. This year, we will predict what the league will choose for each Christmas matchup.

Predicting the 2023 NBA Christmas Day schedule:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks – 11:00 AM CT
  • Boston Celtics at Miami Heat – 1:30 PM CT
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets – 4:00 PM CT
  • Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM CT
  • Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors – 9:30 PM CT

Whenever the NBA is able to, they prefer to have the Knicks at home for the first game of the day. In this scenario, New York would face off with the Cavs in a rematch of the two teams’ first-round playoff matchup from a few short months ago. The recent rumors about Donovan Mitchell wanting to be a Knick make this an easy choice for the league.

From there, the Celtics, Heat, Lakers, and Nuggets comprise the rest of the afternoon slate in a rematch of the Conference Finals from 2023. The Celtics are no doubt still bitter from their Game 7 loss at home to Miami, and the Lakers’ offseason beef with the NBA Champion Nuggets has been well-documented.

For the last game of the night, the NBA will pit two of its best and most-watched players against one another as Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks travel to San Francisco to face Stephen Curry and the Warriors. The league knows that fans will watch Curry no matter when he plays, so putting him on for the nightcap is a smart choice.

Once again, the Timberwolves will likely be left off the Christmas Day slate. With all the implications from last year’s playoffs and with Minnesota just barely squeaking into the postseason, there is a very slim chance they are selected. If the Wolves put together a stellar campaign and/or playoff run this coming season, they have a good chance of making it next Christmas.

Next. 10 Worst free agent signings in Timberwolves history. dark