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NBA schedule 2022-23: What are the key dates and must watch games for the new season?

NBA opening night is here, with two blockbuster matchups taking place. There are more exciting contests on the calendar: here are the key games and dates.

NBA opening night is here, with two blockbuster matchups taking place. There are more exciting contests on the calendar: here are the key games and dates.
Mike EhrmannGetty Images

After careful deliberation and many months of organizing, the 2022-23 NBA schedule was released in August. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics will tip off tonight for the first game of the season.

The 82-game regular season returned last year after two seasons that were affected by the covid-19 pandemic. After the altered schedules that led to the NBA Bubble in the 2019/2020 season and the delayed start of the season in 2020-21, we have finally returned to the original tip-off date intended for the NBA regular season.

Opening night

The opening night of games takes place today, Tuesday, October 18th and will feature some of the league’s top stars from the biggest markets around the country. The Sixers are traveling to Boston to take on the Celtics to start the season. Later tonight it will be the Los Angeles Lakers heading to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors.

It was announced earlier this year that the NBA will not schedule any games on Election Day this season, as they are encouraging their players to go out and vote. The league will also urge teams and players to ask their fans to go out and hit the polls on November 8th of this year.

There are only a few other days during the season that the entire league will have the night off. Election Day will be the first night off, less than three weeks after the start of the season. The next one will be Christmas Eve, and then the NBA All-Star break in the middle of February will give the NBA a few days of rest. The NCAA college basketball championship will give the NBA their final day off as the league bows out of the spotlight to ensure focus on the college kids.

NBA heading south of the border

Before Christmas, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs are set to play a game in Mexico City. The game will be the first in Mexico since 2019, and the 31st game ever played south of the border. Tip off is set for Saturday, December 17th.

This means that NBA teams will have games on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. There will also be games on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Christmas belongs to the NBA, and they take advantage by putting some primetime matchups on the 25th of December. Joel Embiid and Philly will head to the Big Apple to take on the Knicks at the Garden, while the Bucks head to Boston for a rematch of the Eastern Conference Final.

In the West it will be LeBron James vs. Luka Doncic as the LA Lakers play Dallas. Golden State will host the Memphis Grizzlies in a rematch of last year’s tense playoff series. The Phoenix Suns will square up against two-time defending NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

Christmas Day

  • Philadelphia at New York
  • Milwaukee at Boston
  • Los Angeles at Dallas
  • Memphis at Golden State
  • Phoenix at Denver

Bulls and Pistons set for Parisian showdown

The NBA goes international again after the New Year when the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons head across the pond for an international showdown in Paris, France on the 19th of January.

The All-Star weekend will take place on the weekend of February 19th in Utah. This will give the league a four-day break before they gear up for the final stretch of the regular season.

The final day of regular season games before the Play-In Tournament will be April 9th as teams fight until the last day. Some will be looking to climb up the standings hoping for home court, while others will be trying to sneak into the Play-In Tournament.

The Play-In Tournament will be implemented for the third straight season, and has been a hit since its introduction in 2021. It includes more teams in the post season race, and extends the drama until the final day of the regular season.

The Play-In tournament will last from April 11th to April 14th and the playoffs begin a day later. The NBA Finals are scheduled for the beginning of June.


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