NBA Releases Opening Week Schedule for the 2020-21 Season

Training camp starts this week and with the regular season less than three weeks away, the talk has moved from free agency movements to the season schedule.

So far, the NBA has released the preseason schedule and the Christmas day schedule. The first part of the NBA’s 2020-21 regular season will be announced on Friday, according to the NBA. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know anything about the regular season yet.

A Tale of Two Halves

As per the league’s announcement last month, the regular-season schedule for the 2020-21 NBA season will be released in two halves. Of course, the league coined them as the First Half and Second Half with an All-Star break in between and a play-in tournament after.

The First Half will run from December 22 to March 4th, and that schedule will be the one released on Friday. The Second Half is slated to take place from March 11 to May 16. The Second Half schedule will not be released until later in the First Half. This will include the rest of each team’s 72-game regular-season schedule which wasn’t include in the First Half, as well as games in the First Half that were postponed and that can be “reasonably added’ to the Second Half.

Each team will play teams from its conference three times or a total of 42 games while they will play the teams from the opposing conference twice or 30 games for a total of 72 regular-season games.

Within each division, the NBA has assigned which teams will be played twice at home and twice on the road. Each division within a conference will play all five teams from another division at home, and five teams from the remaining division on the road twice.

Opener Has Plenty of Fireworks

On Tuesday, the NBA confirmed its national TV schedule for the first three-game days of the 2020-21 season. According to the league, the December 22 opening night will be a double-header on TNT. There will be one game on TNT and the other one on ESPN on the 23rd while there will be five Christmas Day games across ESPN and ABC on December 25th.

The December 22 opener has plenty of fireworks with the Golden State Warriors visiting the Brooklyn Nets in what will be Kevin Durant’s first game against the Warriors since leaving for Brooklyn two seasons ago. That game will be followed by the Battle of Los Angeles at Staples Center. The game will mark the first game of Montrezl Harrell since transferring from the Clippers to the Lakers.

The four teams on opening night will be in action as well on Christmas Day as Golden State will visit two-time MVP Giannis Antetookonmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks while LBJ and the Lakers host MVP betting favorite Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in Tinseltown. The other three Christmas Day games feature the Nets playing in Boston, the Clippers playing in Denver, and the Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat playing hosts to Zion Williamson and the Pelicans.

Lakers vs Clippers Rivalry

It looks like the league is high on the Los Angeles rivalry this season with the Lakers vs Clippers highlighting the 2020-21 schedule. The two Los Angeles teams are slated to face each other twice during the preseason. The Staples Center rivals will headline December 11th’s first preseason playdate. They are also booked to meet a second time on December 13th.  And then, of course, the Lakers and Clippers will meet again on opening night.

Much has been talked about this rivalry ever since the Clippers rose from being the doormat of the league to one of the top teams in the NBA. The Clippers were the preseason favorites to win the 2020 NBA title but it was their rivals who were crowned as NBA champions after the bubble tournament.

The Lakers are the current +275 preseason betting favorites to repeat as NBA champions while the Clippers are second in the latest odds board to win the Western Conference at +325.

Sportsbooks are also predicting a Lakers vs Bucks matchup in the 2021 NBA Finals. That pairing is currently listed at +900 with a Lakers vs Nets showdown in the championship round pegged second at +1200.

Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more!

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