The rise of Anthony Davis’ stardom was expected to net the Pelicans a Christmas Day game this season.
But apparently it will be in Miami, not the Smoothie King Center.
The Pelicans will meet the Heat in Miami with an 11 a.m. tipoff to the NBA’s traditional showcase day, according to Miami Herald.
It will be the first Christmas game for the Pelicans since they were the Hornets and Chris Paul was the star attraction. That game was played in Orlando in 2008, and the Hornets lost 88-68.
According to CBS Sports’ Matt Moore, a Finals rematch between Cleveland and Golden State can be expected to be another one of the Christmas games, while Chicago, New York and the Los Angeles Lakers have traditionally filled spots in the five-game slate split between ABC and TNT.
The Pelicans are playing on Christmas, Moore said, because it represents the attention being paid to Davis, who made his first All-NBA team this season and last month signed a five-year, $145 million deal that was the richest in league history.
The entire NBA’s 2015-16 schedule is expected to be released next week.