NBA releases new player-friendly schedule
Ben Simmons and his Philadelphia 76ers will commence their NBA season at home against conference rivals Boston Celtics after the league announced a schedule that is a little bit easier on players.
The NBA announced its 2019-20 schedule on Monday, featuring a start a week later than that of last year, another dip in back-to-back games for teams and earlier tip-off times for the likes of Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.
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Teams will play 82 games with the regular season to commence a week later than usual on October 22 and end with 13 games on April 15, with the playoffs to start on April 18.
Joe Ingles and his Utah Jazz will get rolling at home against Oklahoma City Thunder on October 23 while his Boomers teammate Patty Mills and the San Antonio Spurs host the New York Knicks on the same night.
Some of the most anticipated games from this season's NBA schedule 🍿 pic.twitter.com/aqrO0or26x— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 12, 2019
Toronto Raptors players will get their championship rings on opening night, October 22, when they host the New Orleans Pelicans and No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.
The Lakers - now featuring Anthony Davis to play alongside LeBron James - will play at the Clippers - now featuring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George - in the second match of the opening night double header.
Other highlights include a packed Christmas Day schedule which includes Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia, Houston at Golden State, Clippers at Lakers, New Orleans at Denver Nuggets and Boston at Toronto.
Brooklyn Nets recruit Kyrie Irving returns to Boston to face the Celtics on November 27 while Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook will have to wait until January 9 to oppose his former team in Oklahoma City, after previously playing the Thunder at the Toyota Center in late October.
The All-Star Game is February 16 in Chicago with no NBA games scheduled from February 14-19.