The NBA has released its complete game schedule for the 2019-20 regular season. The league’s 74th regular season will tip off on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 and conclude on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
Top 10 games of the new NBA season
Clippers at Lakers, October 22, 10:30 p.m. ET
The biggest shifts in the NBA this summer happened in Los Angeles, with Anthony Davis finally securing a trade from the Pelicans to LeBron James’s Lakers, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teaming up on the Clippers. Which Staples Center tenant has the superior squad and which one has the best chance at winning it all next season both might be in the eye of the beholder, but getting a good look at how the reloaded Finals hopefuls stack up against each other promises to be one of the more exciting unveilings the league has to offer. Shouts to the NBA for deciding not to make us wait to find out what happens when its two preeminent new power couples collide. Our predicts is that Clippers will easly won this game.
Pelicans at Raptors, October 22, 8 p.m. ET
Before Kawhi begins a new chapter with his new team, the one he led to the 2019 NBA title will receive its championship rings on opening night. The feature attraction will be the regular-season debut of wunderkind Zion Williamson, who will become the first no. 1 draft pick to play on opening night since Derrick Rose all the way back in 2008. Williamson’s first pro appearance, at Las Vegas summer league, was an absolute scene. We can only imagine how wild the atmosphere will be when the games actually count. Would be interesting to see how will Raptors manage without their best player in the previous season.
Nets at Celtics (7 p.m. ET) and Lakers at Pelicans (9:30 p.m. ET), November 27
The emotions here, I suspect, will be a little less complicated. (And the night before Thanksgiving, too!)
Nobody does big-stage drama better than Kyrie Irving, whose first trip back to Boston against his old teammates without Kevin Durant in uniform will be a show-and-prove night for all involved. Irving is carrying the Nets on his shoulders until Durant returns. The Celtics’ youngsters will be eager to show him that they’re better off with Kemba Walker in his place anyway. The fact that these are division rivals who could be battling for playoff positioning all season won’t even be a factor on this night. This is sure to be a good old fashioned grudge match.
On the same night Irving goes back to boos in Boston, Davis will face something similar in the Big Easy. Pelicans fans didn’t hide their disdain for Davis once they learned of his trade request last season. His departure for the Lakers, even with all the Pelicans got in return, won’t be enough to soften the mood upon his return to the city he called home for the first seven season of his career. The former Lakers shipped out to acquire Davis – Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart — will surely get up for this game as well.
Clippers at Raptors, December 11, 7 p.m. ET
Leonard’s first trip back to Scotiabank Arena since departing for the West Coast makes the list largely because I’m not really sure what kind of response to expect from the Toronto faithful. Will fans warmly cheer the Finals MVP for delivering them to the promised land in his lone season in Canada? Will they show him the cold shoulder? Or will it fall somewhere in the middle, a muffled roar in keeping with the mixed emotions many Raptors fans have felt following the soaring high of their championship win? Feelings can be complicated, messy, and more than one thing at the same time. This might be, too
Clippers at Thunders, December 22, 7 p.m. ET
George’s trade request to the Clippers, is still a tough pill for Thunder fans to swallow. It hastened Russell Westbrook’s departure and the franchise reboot that’s to come. But George will be greeted by Chris Paul, taking on one of his former teams as well, and a Thunder group that will use every slight, real and imagined, to fuel their fire this season.
Bucks at Rockets, October 24, 8 p.m. ET
All star night on 24 Oct. Last season, Harden became only the fourth player in NBA history to average more than 36 points per game for full campaign, shattering our preconceptions about how much a single player could work in isolation while still fueling an elite offense. And all it earned him his third second-place finish in MVP balloting in the last five years, as more voters opted to recognize Antetokounmpo’s two-way brilliance than Harden’s historically rugged individualism. That would be interesting game and maybe that teams maybe can be the possible finalists this season.
Rockets at Jazz, January 27, 9 p.m. ET
Rockets at Nuggets, November 20, 9 p.m. ET
The Rockets have been Utah’s bête noire the past two postseasons, thanks to a spread pick-and-roll/big-man-hunting offense capable of breaking down the Jazz’s elite Rudy Gobert–led defense and a defensive strategy that has neutralized Donovan Mitchell and laid bare the lack of other top-flight playmakers and bankable shooting on Utah’s roster. After landing Mike Conley to team with Mitchell in the backcourt, and Bojan Bogdanovic to serve as a stretch 4 and secondary creator up front, does Utah finally have the firepower to be able to go toe-to-toe with Mike D’Antoni’s squad? And will the downgrade in 3-point accuracy from CP3 to Russ make it a bit easier for the Jazz to stifle a Houston offense that has bedeviled them?
It’s a similar story in Denver. The Nuggets ranked as one of the most pleasant surprises in the NBA last season, topping the 50-win mark for the first time in six seasons and making it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade. But Nikola Jokic’s crew struggled mightily against the Rockets, going 1-3 against Houston during the regular season and hemorrhaging points to the tune of 124.5 per 100 possessions. With the remarkable Jokic leading the way and a collection of improving young talents orbiting him, Denver can score on anybody, and should be considered a threat to improve on last season’s conference semifinals run. To be a real championship contender, though, the Nuggets will have to improve at tamping down high-octane opponents who can spread them out and bomb away.
Mavericks at Knicks, November 14, 8 p.m. ET
This will be the first time in 21 months that Kristaps Porzingis is introduced in a starting lineup at Madison Square Garden. It will be the first time he’s announced as a visitor. Porzingis signed a $158 million maximum-salaried contract extension to stay in Dallas for the next five years, pairing with Luka Doncic in a dynamic duo of the future, while the Knicks spent their cap space on a collection of young players and veterans on short contracts who might help the team return to respectability in the near term while maintaining financial flexibility for the future.
So much has happened over the past three years, and attitudes about Porzingis vary drastically depending on who you talk to. Does he get a “once a Knick, always a Knick” welcome as the first homegrown star? We will see on 14th November.