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Report: Cavs Absent From 2018 Christmas Day Schedule for 1st Time in Years
- Updated: August 8, 2018
For the first time since 2013, the Cleveland Cavaliers will not be taking the court on Christmas Day, a date in which the NBA traditionally offers up some of its marquee matchups. The absence of LeBron James from the Cavaliers’ roster serves as the chief reason for their absence, though James’ new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, will be among the 10 teams playing that day.
NBA on Christmas Day should be ?
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 8, 2018
Following James’ return to the Cavs in 2014, the team played on the holiday in each of the next four seasons. In that first year, the return of James to his former home in Miami served as that day’s top matchup. That was followed by three consecutive contests against the Golden State Warriors in a rematch of the preceding year’s finals, with the Warriors winning two of those three games.
In Cleveland’s previous 48 seasons in the NBA, the franchise has played 14 times on Christmas Day, splitting those contests with a 7-7 mark. Eight of those games came during the two tenures with James, when the team again managed a .500 record in those clashes by winning four times.
For James himself, it will mark the 12th consecutive time he’s played on the holiday, though it marks the first time that his team’s matchup will take place against a divisional foe. In addition to that streak, James and the Cavaliers also dropped a Christmas overtime battle on the road in 2003 against the Orlando Magic. Overall, James managed a 4-4 mark with the Cavs on the holiday and was 4-0 during his four years with the Miami Heat.
Without James’ presence in the lineup, the Cavaliers will also see a steep drop in the number of national television appearances. A final determination on exactly how many times they’ll be featured will take place later this month when the full NBA schedule is released by the league.