On Tuesday, the NBA began to reveal its schedule for the 2021-22 season, starting with the league’s Opening Night and Christmas Day games.
The season will begin on Tuesday, October 19th with a doubleheader on TNT. In the early game, the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets, while in the late game, the Los Angeles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors. Turner also has a doubleheader on Thursday, with Mavericks-Hawks in the early slot and Clippers-Warriors in the late slot.
ESPN also has a pair of Opening Week doubleheaders. On Wednesday, October 20th, Celtics-Knicks takes the early slot and Nuggets-Suns takes the late slot. On Friday, October 22nd, Nets-76ers will air early, and Suns-Lakers will air late.
Christmas will have a monster five game schedule. The first is a playoff rematch, pitting the Hawks against the Knicks on ESPN. ABC has a tripleheader taking up the bulk of the day, with Celtics-Bucks starting at 2:30 PM, Warriors-Suns starting at 5 PM, and Nets-Lakers in primetime on both ABC and ESPN. The late game on ESPN pits the Mavericks against the Jazz.
The Christmas Day games will have some unexpected competition from football this year. The NFL has a Christmas Day doubleheader, with Browns-Packers starting at 4:30 PM ET and airing on Fox and NFL Network, and Colts-Cardinals starting at 8:15 PM ET, airing on NFL Network alone. There’s also a bowl game – ESPN will air the Camellia Bowl at 2:30 PM ET.
Here’s the schedule in bullet point format, in case you like lists.
Opening Night, October 19th
- Nets at Bucks, TNT, 7:30 PM ET
- Lakers at Warriors, TNT, 10 PM ET
Opening Week, October 20th
- Celtics at Knicks, ESPN, 7:30 PM ET
- Nuggets at Suns, ESPN, 10 PM ET
Opening Week, October 21st
- Mavericks at Hawks, TNT, 7:30 PM ET
- Clippers at Warriors, TNT, 10 PM ET
Opening Week, October 22nd
- Nets at 76ers, ESPN, 7:30 PM ET
- Suns at Lakers, ESPN, 10 PM ET
Christmas Day, December 25th
- Hawks at Knicks, ESPN, 12 PM ET
- Celtics at Bucks, ABC, 2:30 PM ET
- Warriors at Suns, ABC, 5 PM ET
- Nets at Lakers, ABC/ESPN, 8 PM ET
- Mavericks at Jazz, ESPN, 10:30 PM ET
But overall, this seems like a pretty strong slate of games for two of the NBA’s premiere dates – especially the pair of mouthwatering Opening Night matchups.