The Knicks will again play on Christmas Day, hosting Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden at noon as the start of a five-game nationally-televised schedule, the NBA announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The NBA released its national television schedule for the opening week of the regular season, the Christmas Day games and three Martin Luther King Jr. Day games. The Knicks are not scheduled for national television games during he opening week of the season or Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Thunder, however, announced on their verified Twitter account that they will play the Knicks at the Garden on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the game will not be nationally televised.
The Knicks-Bucks game will be broadcast on ESPN. A key storyline is whether Kristaps Porzingis will be back from his ACL injury to face Antetokounmpo in what would be a matchup of two of the league’s best young players. The Knicks lost to the 76ers at the Garden last Christmas Day. The Bucks haven’t played on Christmas Day since 1977.
Other Christmas Day games will feature LeBron James and the Lakers playing the defending champion Warriors on the road (8 p.m. on ESPN/ABC), the Celtics hosting the 76ers (5:30 p.m. on ABC), the Thunder visiting the Rockets (3 p.m. on ABC) and the Jazz hosting the Trail Blazers (10:30 p.m. on ESPN).
The Lakers, Warriors, 76ers and Rockets will all be featured in nationally-televised games during the opening week of the season, on Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The NBA’s national television schedule begins on Oct. 16 with the Celtics hosting the 76ers at 8 p.m. on TNT and the Warriors hosting the Thunder at 10:30 p.m. on TNT. The Warriors will receive their championship rings and unveil their championship banner before the game.
James will play his first regular-season game with the Lakers on Oct. 18 in Portland against the Trail Blazers (10:30 p.m. on TNT).