The 2023-24 NBA season will kick off in Denver, where the reigning champions, the Nuggets, will raise their championship banner at the Ball Arena for the first time in the team’s history before facing the Los Angeles Lakers.
The league revealed its schedule for the upcoming season on Thursday afternoon.
Denver’s title defense will commence on Tuesday, October 24, against the team they defeated in the Western Conference Finals. In LeBron James’ 21st iconic season, the Lakers aspire to return to the finals for the first time since their championship victory in 2020.
In contrast to a typical Eastern Conference game that usually opens the season, this match will inaugurate the schedule this season due to the NBA reserving another major rivalry game immediately after. The revamped Phoenix Suns, now featuring Bradley Beal alongside Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, will pay a visit to the Golden State Warriors, where Chris Paul will face his former team for the first time.
On Wednesday, Victor Wembanyama will make his debut for the San Antonio Spurs against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
Christmas Day will once again feature five NBA games. The lineup begins with the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the New York Knicks, followed by the Golden State Warriors heading to Denver and the Boston Celtics visiting the Los Angeles Lakers. The holiday schedule will culminate with a prime-time clash between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat, followed by a matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns, where Kyrie Irving will face his former Brooklyn teammate, Kevin Durant.
The NBA calendar will consist of only 80 games for each team, in contrast to the standard 82 games. This is because the two additional games will be determined based on the format of the inaugural season tournament, which will start in November. The group stage for this tournament was announced during a special event on Tuesday.
The league stated that teams will have an average of 14 consecutive-day games this season, including nine involving travel to away games. Overall, back-to-back games have increased slightly compared to the previous season (13.3) due to the season tournament, but none of these tournament games will occur on the second night of a back-to-back.
Furthermore, there will be no instances of four games in five nights on the schedule, an issue that teams have struggled to eliminate.
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