Schedule information for the biggest days of the 2019-20 NBA season has started to leak over the last 24 hours. The first bits of information involved the league’s full Christmas Day slate, and now, we know both when the season will tip off and what teams will usher in a new year.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA’s 2019-20 campaign is slated to begin on Oct. 22, 2019. We won’t have to wait long to see four of the league’s most fascinating teams, as the defending champion Toronto Raptors will take on Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans before LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George write the latest chapter in the rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers.
Planned games for opening night: Los Angeles Lakers/LA Clippers and Toronto Raptors/New Orleans Pelicans.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2019
Jeff Nowak of NOLA.com points out that, barring a change in dates for Elton John’s tour, the Pelicans-Raptors game would occur in New Orleans.
That WILL be the home-opener at the Smoothie King Center, because Elton John's 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' tour is hitting Scotiabank on that same night. pic.twitter.com/aOKpBgerH3
— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) August 3, 2019
As for the game in California, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports the Clippers will be the home team at Staples Center.
Sources confirm that tentative plan is Clippers and Lakers will meet opening night Oct. 22 at Staples Center. It will be Clippers home game. Here we go: Kawhi/PG and LeBron/AD #NBAhoops
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) August 3, 2019
All four of these teams will also be involved in the games that will occur on Christmas — the two Los Angeles squads will play one another, while the Raptors will host the Boston Celtics and the Pelicans will travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets. Still, this is about as good of an opening night as one could imagine. The Raptors get a spot as the defending champs, fans will get a look at Williamson and the high-flying Pelicans right away, and it’s hard to imagine a more high-profile matchup in the league this year than the two L.A. squads.