NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places | The league unveiled the 2019-20 schedule on Monday, and there are plenty of tasty nationally-televised matchups


                        NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places

NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places

NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places

NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places

NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places

NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places
NBA schedule: 10 national TV games to circle on your calendar next season, including plenty of new faces visiting old places
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The NBA national television schedule can get a bit homogeneous. Over the past several years, a few teams hoarded so much of the league's best talent that it was rare to get a truly great game outside of a handful of rivalries. 

That won't be the case this season as we learned when the league unveiled the 2019-20 regular-season schedule on Monday. With the league's superstar talent dispersed more evenly than it has been in years and a number of new rivalries forming seemingly overnight, there will be a great game on television almost every night. Below, we'll list the best 10 games on the nationally-televised schedule. You'll notice that no single team appears more than three times, and that 12 teams in total appear. These games stand out, but virtually any combination of these teams will produce matchups to remember. 

1. Clippers vs. Lakers: Battle of Los Angeles

  • Date: Tuesday, Oct. 22
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Staples Center -- Los Angeles
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)

No, the Clippers probably won't be at full strength in this matchup. Paul George will likely still be recovering from shoulder surgery. But there will be three more chances to see these teams play each other healthy, and potentially seven more in the postseason. The atmosphere of this first game, even if George doesn't play, is going to be the star of the show. For the first time in NBA history, the Clippers and Lakers are contending for the same championship. The fans at Staples Center, which will be adorned in Clippers colors for this matchup, will go a long way in showing the world just how fierce this rivalry is going to be. 

2. Celtics vs. Nets: Irving returns to Boston

  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 27
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Location: TD Garden -- Boston
  • TV: ESPN

There are no questions about how fierce this rivalry will be. The Nets have hated the Celtics for years thanks to their infamous 2013 trade. Now the Celtics can reciprocate that animosity with Kyrie Irving making his grand return to Boston. He will not find a welcoming crowd there, and if things do get heated, neither side will have a chance to cool down. They play one another again two nights later in Brooklyn. 

3. Lakers vs. Pelicans: Davis returns to NOLA

  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 27
  • Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Smoothie King Center -- New Orleans
  • TV: ESPN

The NBA has turned Nov. 27 into its unofficial jilted ex-team night. Irving kicks off the night with his return to Boston, but Anthony Davis closes it with his first game in New Orleans since being traded to the Lakers. The angry crowd will be a sight to behold, of course, but the real action will take place on the court. Zion Williamson has been dubbed the best prospect since Davis and LeBron James, and in one night, he'll have a chance to prove his worth against both. The same is true for the hoard of ex-Lakers on this Pelicans roster that were included in the Davis trade. There are too many storylines to count in this one. 

4. Heat vs. 76ers: Butler back in Philly again

  • Date: Wednesday, Dec. 18
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Wells Fargo Center -- Philadelphia
  • TV: ESPN

The Western Conference might be wide open this season, but the East is still dominated by two superpowers. Barring a trade, we will know fairly quickly if any team is suited to threatening the 76ers or Bucks. The Heat, with Jimmy Butler in tow, have a chance to be that challenger. Butler returns to Philadelphia for the first time in November, but at this point, he will have two months with his new team under his belt. If the Miami can hang with Philadelphia, Butler can not only prove that he made the right decision in leaving, but that his Heat team can make some serious noise in the postseason. 

5. Bucks vs. 76ers: Potential Eastern Conference finals preview

  • Date: Wednesday, Dec. 25
  • Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Wells Fargo Center -- Philadelphia
  • TV: ABC

As entertaining as a third contender in the East would be, these two teams are the stars of the show. They are on a collision course for the Eastern Conference finals, and this game will be a Milwaukee's first look at the supersized roster that gave the Toronto Raptors so much trouble in the playoffs last season. The Bucks have plenty of size of their own, and neither team has a traditional perimeter superstar. Enjoy these games while they last, because you may never again see two superpowers with such unusual roster constructions. 

6. Thunder vs. Rockets: Russ returns to OKC

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 9
  • Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena -- Oklahoma City
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)

Most of the returns on this list are based in anger and disappointment. That won't be the case in this matchup. Russell Westbrook will be welcomed back to Oklahoma City as a conquering hero. The preexisting enmity between these teams makes that hard to fathom, but Westbrook is so popular with his original NBA city that many fans in the region are rooting for the Rockets to win a championship. True feel-good returns are a rarity, and should be enjoyed during a season in which there will be so many bitter ones. 

7. Bucks vs. Pelicans: Greek Freak meets Zion

  • Date: Tuesday, Feb. 4
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Smoothie King Center -- New Orleans
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)

The NBA had never seen an athlete like Giannis Antetokounmpo when he entered the league in 2013. It has never seen one like Zion Williamson either. This season, it will see them take the same floor for the first time. The possibilities with these two playing in the same game are endless. The greatest dunks, blocks and defensive highlights in league history are all on the table, and their battles moving forward should be considered appointment television. 

8. Warriors vs. Lakers: Possible new faces after trade deadline

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 8
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Chase Center -- San Francisco
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)

Though overshadowed by the Clippers, the Lakers and Warriors should still have a strong rivalry this season. After all, Golden State did face James in the NBA Finals twice before Kevin Durant signed there, but this game in particular features another level of intrigue. The NBA trade deadline is on Feb. 6. If either of these teams make a big move, their new players will likely suit up for the first time in this game. 

9. Warriors vs. Clippers: Battle of championship favorites

  • Date: Saturday, April 11
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Staples Center -- Los Angeles
  • TV: ABC

Neither the Clippers nor the Warriors will enter the season at full strength, but by this point, George and Klay Thompson should both be fully recovered from the injuries currently plaguing them. Their early-season absences may affect seeding, but so long as these teams remain in the top eight, both will be serious threats to win the whole thing. This matchup will serve as a chance for both sides to establish themselves as potential favorites heading into the postseason. 

10. Nuggets vs. Jazz: Regular-season finale

  • Date: Tuesday, April 14
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena -- Salt Lake City
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)

The Nuggets and Jazz have both drawn a degree of skepticism when it comes to their chances in the playoffs, but given their depth and continuity at the top of their rosters, both figure to be excellent regular-season teams. There is a chance that this game, which is the regular-season finale for both teams, determines home-court advantage in the Western Conference. These teams might not look particularly intimidating at the moment, but a No. 1 seed would change that very quickly. 


                        NBA schedule 2019-20: Five must-see rookie matchups, including Pelicans' Zion Williamson and former Duke teammates

NBA schedule 2019-20: Five must-see rookie matchups, including Pelicans' Zion Williamson and former Duke teammates

Two months ago, during the 2019 NBA Draft, we learned where this year's rookie class would be playing. Now, after Monday afternoon's official schedule release, we know when they'll be playing. 

The NBA released the entire regular-season schedule, and the focus, for good reason, was on some of the biggest dates on the calendar: opening night, Christmas Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and revenge games. But we also now know the dates and times for some of the biggest matchups featuring this season's rookie class. 

Ahead of the 2019-20 season, here's a look at five of the most anticipated contests featuring the league's future stars. 

1. Pelicans at Knicks

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 10
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Madison Square Garden -- New York City
  • TV: ESPN

After stellar freshman seasons, Duke teammates Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett were both drafted in the top three. Williamson of course went No. 1 overall to the Pelicans, while the Knicks selected Barrett with the No. 3 pick. They played against each other in Summer League, but they'll get at it for real for the first time in the NBA on Jan. 10, with the game set for Madison Square Garden. Two former teammates turned top-three picks meeting for the first time at The Mecca? Yeah, that sounds like a must-see matchup. 

2. Pelicans at Grizzlies

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 20
  • Time: 5 p.m. ET
  • Location: FedEx Forum -- Memphis, Tennessee
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

It's always exciting to see the top two picks in the NBA Draft meet for the first time. There should be some added hype for that game this season after one of the most promising draft classes in quite some time. Williamson is one of the most exciting prospects since LeBron James, and Ja Morant, the No. 2 overall pick, is a ridiculous athlete loaded with all sorts of potential of his own. We'll have to wait until late January to see them take the court against each other for the first time, but the wait should be worth it considering the game will be on national TV as part of the league's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. 

3. Timberwolves at Hawks

  • Date: Monday, Nov. 25
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: State Farm Arena -- Atlanta
  • TV: NBA League pass
  • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

Last year's NCAA Tournament championship game featured an unexpected matchup, as Virginia took down Texas Tech in overtime to win its first national title. Two key players in that game were Virginia's De'Andre Hunter and Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver. Hunter and Culver went on to be drafted in the top-six of the draft. As it turns out, they won't have to wait long for their first rematch in the NBA. Culver's Timberwolves are set to travel to Atlanta to take on Hunter's Hawks just a month into the season. Plus, as an added bonus, we'll also get to see the No. 8 overall pick, Cam Reddish, who also plays for the Hawks. 

4. Hawks at Pelicans

  • Date: Monday, March 16
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Smoothie King Center -- New Orleans
  • TV: NBA League Pass
  • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

There are a number of Williamson games on this list, and for good reason. The No. 1 overall pick is one of the most-hyped prospects to ever enter the league, and has incredible potential. He was unstoppable at times during his freshman season at Duke, where he helped lead the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight. Reddish was also a key member of that Duke team, and together they were two of three Duke players to go in the top-eight of the draft. Williamson and Reddish won't meet in the NBA for a long time, but that might make the matchup even more interesting, as they'll each have had plenty of time to adjust to the league. 

5. Grizzlies at Cavaliers

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 20
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse -- Cleveland
  • TV: NBA League Pass
  • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

A few days before Christmas, the Grizzlies will travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. At a quick glance, this game wouldn't seem all that interesting, with both teams expected to once again finish near the bottom of the standings next season. However, there are a few rookie reasons why this will be an interesting early-season matchup. For one, two of the top-five picks will go head-to-head when Morant takes on Darius Garland. The first two point guards taken in the draft, this should be a good measuring stick for each player. But that's not all; both of these teams had multiple first-round picks, and in total one-sixth of the first round of the 2019 Draft will be playing in this game. In addition to Morant, the Grizzlies have Summer League MVP Brandon Clarke, while the Cavaliers also have Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. 


                        NBA schedule release for 2019-20 season: Key games, national TV matchups, dates for the upcoming season

NBA schedule release for 2019-20 season: Key games, national TV matchups, dates for the upcoming season

Early on Monday afternoon, the NBA released the full 2019-20 season schedule. We already knew some of the matchups for big events such as opening night and Christmas Day, and even some details on so-called "revenge games," when superstars will return to face their old team. But now, we have the dates and times for every single game. 

Following the conclusion of Summer League and one of the most hectic free agency periods ever, the dog days of summer arrived and the NBA, at last, slowed down. But after a quiet few weeks, it's officially time to start looking ahead to next season. 

Reminder that all games aired on NBA TV and TNT can also be streamed live on fuboTV (try it for free). 

Here are some key facts about the upcoming schedule:   

  • The regular season will run from Tuesday, Oct. 22 until Wednesday, April 15
  • The opening night schedule will feature some notable overlap
  • The Christmas Day slate is star-studded 
  • There are going to be some fun "revenge games"
  • National TV doubleheaders will start earlier 
  • No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson will make his home debut on Friday, Oct. 25

1. The season will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 22

There's been a lot of talk recently about potentially shortening the NBA schedule given the injuries we saw during the Finals and the continued implementation of "load management" as a regular-season rest strategy. That won't happen this year -- the league will play a normal 82 games -- but there has been a slight tweak. The 2019-20 NBA season will begin on Oct. 22, one week later than it did last season, and the playoffs will also begin one week later. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported that this summer's FIBA World Cup was a factor in moving back the start date, presumably to give players more time to recover before the season.

2. The opening night schedule will feature some notable overlap

While opening night tends to include some of the best games on the season's schedule, the league usually avoids major overlap. The defending champions usually play against a conference rival, while two of the best teams in the opposing conference tend to fill in the night's other slot. 

But the league is going in a slightly different direction this year. The defending champion Raptors will indeed play on opening night, but rather than playing a conference rival, they will take on the New Orleans Pelicans in Zion Williamson's debut. As is tradition, the defending champs will also receive their rings and raise their championship banner in a ceremony prior to their match-up with Williamson and the Pelicans on opening night. 

Even more surprising, the Los Angeles Lakers will battle with the Clippers in perhaps the most anticipated game of the season. Such matchups are typically reserved for Christmas, but these teams will meet four times this season, and two of their scheduled dates will be opening night and Christmas. 

That might take some of the teeth out of the Christmas game, but it's worth noting that Paul George is expected to miss the beginning of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. If he does indeed miss opening night, the Christmas game will be his first duel with the Lakers as a member of the Clippers. 

3. The Christmas Day slate is star-studded

Christmas is the NBA's marquee regular-season showcase, and this season is no exception. The five-game Christmas Day slate will feature superstars such as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Nikola Jokic. We'll also get a look at No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson in his first NBA season. Here's the full schedule of games:

Believe it or not, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has already reportedly released odds for the games:

4. There are going to be some fun 'revenge' games

Any time a high-profile player changes teams, there's some serious buzz when that player returns to play in his former city for the first time. We reportedly have the dates for some of those games, including Kawhi Leonard returning to Toronto and Paul George returning to Oklahoma City. Here are the dates that have been revealed so far:

CBS Sports will be with you throughout the release of the 2019-20 schedule. If you are unable to view the live application below, please click here.  


                        NBA schedule release: Watch teams get creative with twitter reveals for 2019-20 season

NBA schedule release: Watch teams get creative with twitter reveals for 2019-20 season

We may still be stuck in the heat of summer but this week has brought a reason for basketball fans to get excited. The NBA revealed its full regular-season schedule for 2019-2020 on Monday, allowing fans to look ahead and circle some marquee matchups during the coming year. 

It was also a big day for the marketing departments of each NBA team, as the schedule reveal allowed clubs to flex their creative muscles and come up with interesting and unique ways to keep fans informed. In the age of social media, a fun and well-executed reveal video can lead to tons of engagement and exposure for the brand, so it's become a pretty competitive space as teams look to one-up each other every year.

While plenty of teams still go the traditional (or, as some might call it, boring) route with a simple reveal, many others go all-out to impress. This year seemed to be an especially strong year for creative reveals. 

One of the best (and most fitting) reveals came from the Mavericks, who put their own spin on the opening credits of "Dallas."

The Hawks also elected to reference a television show titled after their home city, paying homage to Donald Glover's "Atlanta" with a collection of well-produced clips. Their reveal video takes a little brainpower though, as its certainly the most cryptic of the bunch.

The Utah Jazz decided to employ Legos pretty creatively. 

The Trail Blazers went with a simple scroll next to a collection of footage of cute animals, which is never a bad strategy. Adorable animals never lose.

Meanwhile, the Magic brought in actual magicians to put on a show.

As always, almost nothing is boring when it comes to the NBA.

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