The NBA season has been severely disrupted by the early winter surge of the COVID-19 virus in the United States. Teams have had to move games or scramble to sign free agents who would otherwise have no business on an NBA roster just to get the games played. The world is watching to see if there will be a league-wide pause like the National Hockey League.

One of the biggest days of the year for the Association is Christmas. The league annually puts on several showcase games to help drive interest. This year, it appeared as though those games would lose some luster due to the huge spread of the virus.

At least one star player will likely be good to go for the holiday tip-off. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has cleared the league’s COVID protocol. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he is likely to get the start in today’s game against the Boston Celtics.

“After clearing Covid protocols today, there’s optimism that Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will be in the lineup vs. Boston (2:30 ET, ABC) on Saturday, sources tell @ZachLowe_NBA and me.”

The game is scheduled to tip at 2:30 eastern on ABC. Giannis has been out since December 14 when he first entered the protocol. He’s missed the Bucks previous five games.

Last year, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first NBA title since 1971. He was named the finals MVP. The forward has dominated on the block for Milwaukee, averaging 27 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game this year.

With the virus behind him, the reigning MVP hopes to put on a show for fans who tune in on Christmas Day. With Giannis back in the lineup, the Bucks are heavy favorites in the game. The return of the Bucks’ star player is a welcome Christmas gift for the team and its fans.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a new contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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