2021/22 NBA season: full schedule, regular season, All Star, Playoffs and finals
The NBA season is nearly upon us, but before the action tips off on the hardwood we take a look at the big dates coming up in the new campaign.
It seems like only weeks ago that Giannis Antetokounmpo was on top of the basketball, and social media world after celebrating Milwaukee’s first NBA title in half a century. Since then, NBA players have had time to enjoy their offseason, franchises have had time to bring in new draft picks and signings, and I have had time to forget how to spell Antetokounmpo with out using a cheat sheet.
NBA finally getting back to regular schedule
This offseason was shorter than usual, as the league is still trying to get back on track after the coronavirus pandemic delayed the 2019-20 season, which has had a trickle down effect since.
The Finals finished up in late July of this summer. In normal conditions the NBA champion would be crowned come mid-June at the latest.
Pre-covid, the NBA regular season generally started around mid-October, so in that sense we are back to normal considering tip-off to the regular season less than a week away.
82-game regular season kicks of Oct 19
Key dates for the 2021-22 NBA season ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nbwcIvRHZH— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) July 27, 2021
Another thing that is back to normal for the league and its players is the return of the 82-game schedule. Last year’s season was chopped down to 72 games in attempts to cope with scheduling conflicts after a delayed tip-off to the regular season.
The Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers will bring the preseason to a close on Friday, October 16. Teams will have the weekend after to gear up for the start of the regular season, which will tip-off the following Tuesday with a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Nets vs. Bucks, Warriors vs Lakers to start season
Giannis and the Bucks will host Brooklyn’s Big Three, or perhaps two depending on what the Nets decide to do with Kyrie Irving, who has refused the covid-19 vaccination.
The second game of opening night will be a Western Conference showdown with the new look Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.
The other 26 teams around the league will commence their campaigns on the following Wednesday or Thursday.
Once they start, there will be a non-stop on slot of NBA action until the All-Star game, which will be played in Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on February 20.
Play-In Tournament returns for a second season
The final day of the regular season will be April 10th, as teams fight for positioning in the standings. Some will be hoping to clinch the top spot in the conference, while others may be trying to avoid or sneak in to the second annual Play-In Tournament.
The league decided to bring the pre playoff tournament back for a second season after a successful trial run last May. The 7th-10th placed teams will be fighting for a spot in the postseason from April 12-15.
Once the 16 teams are set, the NBA Playoffs will begin April 16, leading up to the Finals which will begin on June 2 and could stretch until June 19th if the series reaches a seventh game.
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