The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors will headline the NBA’s Christmas day schedule later this year in a rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals, a report said Thursday. The NBA will purportedly unveil its entire schedule for the 2015-16 season next week, though the release date has not been confirmed.
If confirmed, the Cavaliers-Warriors rematch would continue the NBA’s long-running trend of annual marquee matchups on December 25. The NBA has yet to finalize its Christmas lineup, which could change by next week, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.
The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in six games last June to win their first NBA title since 1976. Golden State's victory came despite a historic effort from Cavaliers forward LeBron James, who led all players from both teams in scoring, rebounds and assists. Warriors guard Andre Iguodala was named the 2015 NBA Finals' most valuable player after a strong defensive effort against James and averages of 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and four assists per game.
Earlier this week, an NBA source said the league’s schedule would be unveiled on Wednesday, August 12, the Miami Herald reported. A preliminary schedule listed a Christmas day matchup between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans on ESPN, but that game was also subject to change, the report said.
The NBA has held games on Christmas day for nearly seven decades. Last year’s slate of five contests aired in more than 200 countries around the world, the league said in a press release. The Cavaliers, Warriors and Heat all played on December 25, 2014. Last year’s primetime doubleheader, which featured James’ return to Miami to play his old Heat teammates, generated an average of 7.69 million viewers – a 16-percent hike compared with the previous year, Variety reported.