Christmas came early for Nuggets Nation on August 2nd this year.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Denver Nuggets will host their first Christmas Day game since the 2012-13 season. They will play the New Orleans Pelicans, led by Jrue Holiday and 2019 NBA Draft first overall pick Zion Williamson.

The full list of games to be played is as follows:

  • Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors
  • Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers
  • Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors
  • New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets

It’s unclear which game will fit which time slot throughout the day, but speculation based on last year’s schedule would suggest that the Nuggets game would fill either the second, third, or fifth time slot throughout the day. Here are the games and times from the 2018-19 season:

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The first and fourth time slot are typically reserved for an Eastern Conference game and the game with the largest audience draw respectively. Of the 2019-20 games to be played, I would expect the Celtics vs Raptors to fill the first slot at 12 p.m. ET and the battle for Los Angeles to fill the fourth slot at 8 p.m. ET. That would leave the NBA to decide whether the Nuggets would play sometime during the afternoon or in the late night time slot.

Either way, this is a big step for the Denver Nuggets as a franchise. Only 10 teams get to play on Christmas Day, and six of them are what I would consider large market NBA franchises. Only the Nuggets, Pelicans, Celtics, and Bucks are the mid-market teams (or lower) that broke into that group this year, a major distinction by the NBA that the Nuggets are a team worth watching going forward.

Great things are happening for this Nuggets organization, and now, Nuggets fans have an extra Christmas present to look forward to on December 25th, 2019.