On Monday, the NBA schedule was released for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. The league’s 74th season will start on Oct. 22, and feature several marquee matchups on opening night.
In addition to highly anticipated matchups, games will begin earlier, and there will be less back-to-back games.
Coming off a remarkable summer of player movement, this season should lack no excitement. Here are five games on the league schedule that are must-watch for basketball fans.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers (10/22 10:30 p.m. ET)
Arguably a Western Conference Finals preview, the second game on opening night features the two L.A. teams battling it out. The Lakers and Clippers made the biggest splashes this offseason, and will likely be the most talked about teams all season.
Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will make their debuts on their new teams in what has all the makings of a fantastic game to lead the season with.
Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers (10/23 10 p.m. ET)
The second night of NBA action features Nuggets vs. Blazers, a rematch of the Western Conference Semifinals, a hard-fought series that went seven games.
A matchup of two teams that will probably be fighting for a top-three position in the conference behind the L.A. teams, this game should be very entertaining.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Philadelphia 76ers (12/25 2:30 p.m. ET)
The two favorites in the Eastern Conference face off on Christmas Day. While the holiday is packed with good basketball, this game stands out.
The Bucks and Sixers will likely be battling it out in the Conference Finals next spring, barring injuries or a massive implosion. Joel Embiid and the new-look Sixers taking on Giannis and Co. will make for an exciting, close game.
Brooklyn Nets @ Boston Celtics (11/27 7:00 p.m. ET)
Of several “return games,” Kyrie Irving heading back to Boston is the most appealing. Irving will visit Boston with the Nets in late November.
Not only will this game feature an intense crowd that will likely boo Irving from start to finish, the game could be foreshadowing of a 3-6 or 4-5 seed playoff series. How Irving responds performance wise, and how well these two teams match up make it a game to circle on the calendar.
New Orleans Pelicans @ Memphis Grizzlies (1/20 5:00 p.m. ET)
On MLK Jr. Day, there will be four games. One that must-watch is the Pelicans traveling to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies.
This game will be the first meeting between Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, the first and second picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
New Orleans has developed a very interesting roster with a mix of young talent, Williamson being the focal point, and veterans. The Grizzlies are rebuilding with Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. as the centerpieces. This game should be an entertaining battle between the league’s future talent.
Featured image credited to Getty Images.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.