Skip to main content

According to a tweet from NBA insider Marc Stein on Saturday, two matchups are already all but in stone on the league's 2022 Christmas Day slate. And barring a trade or injury beforehand, one of those probable games would include a 2015 Duke basketball national champion in Memphis Grizzlies backup point guard Tyus Jones.

Stein reported that the plan is for the Grizzlies to participate in a rematch of the Western Conference Semifinals by taking on the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Per Stein, the other penciled-in Christmas Day clash thus far pits LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

Memphis has never played on Dec. 25.

However, Jones did so twice as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2017, he scored two points in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. And the following year, he scored seven points and dished out five assists in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Last season, Tyus Jones rose to the occasion as a fill-in starter down the stretch when Memphis superstar Ja Morant was on the sideline recovering from injury.

RELATED: Tyus Jones gets what he deserves, sort of

Across the 2021-22 campaign, Jones tallied a career-high 8.7 points per game and 39.0 shooting percentage from downtown while leading the league again with his record-setting 7.04 assist-to-turnover ratio.

All that prompted Monte Poole of NBC Sports to recently list the 26-year-old Tyus Jones — not to mention fellow Duke basketball product Seth Curry — among the five most underrated active NBA players.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

More Duke basketball talents on Christmas Day?

Since 2008, the NBA's Christmas Day schedule always features five games.

Assuming that's again the number, it'd be a bit of a shock not to see the New Orleans Pelicans, with visions of a healthy Blue Devil pair anchoring the roster in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

RELATED: 2016 re-draft has Blue Devil going first

Plus, the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are Christmas Day regulars. So former Duke basketball one-and-dones RJ Barrett (Knicks), Cam Reddish (Knicks, for the time being, anyway), and Jayson Tatum (Celtics) are also relatively safe bets to be in action. Trevor Keels, who inked a two-way contract with the Knicks, is another possibility.

Other conceivable Christmas Day Blue Devils this go-round are Grayson Allen with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seth Curry and Kyrie Irving with the Brooklyn Nets, and 2022 No. 1 overall draft pick Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. with the Orlando Magic.

Marc Stein noted that the NBA is preparing to release the complete 2022-23 season schedule sometime this week.

Stay tuned to Blue Devil Country for daily Duke basketball content, including frequent updates on the program's NBA players.