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NBA Opening Night: Official 2023-24 Schedule Announcements

Eric Elliot

Home » Sport » NBA Opening Night: Official 2023-24 Schedule Announcements

The opening night of the NBA season is one of the most exciting times for basketball fans. With offseason trades and draft picks finalized, the opening night offers the first chance to see new-look teams and rookie debuts. The NBA recently announced the full schedule for the 2023-24 season, including marquee games on opening night and other key dates throughout the season.

Overview of the Upcoming NBA Schedule

The 2023-24 NBA regular season will begin on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 and end on Sunday, April 14, 2024. The league announced game dates and broadcast schedules for 80 of the 82 games each team will play. The NBA also revealed plans for Christmas Day games, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

Opening night will feature a TNT doubleheader starting with the defending champion Denver Nuggets hosting LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. This rematch of the 2023 Western Conference Finals provides an early test for both contenders. The second TNT game pits the revamped Phoenix Suns against Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors, another premiere showdown to open the season.

Christmas Day Showcases the NBA’s Biggest Stars

For the 16th straight year, the NBA will have five nationally televised Christmas Day games featuring many of the league’s top players and teams. The holiday slate starts at noon ET on ESPN with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks visiting Julius Randle’s New York Knicks.

ABC and ESPN will both broadcast a Finals rematch at 2:30 pm ET between the 2022 champion Golden State Warriors and 2023 victor Denver Nuggets. NBA fans will get an early look at how last year’s Finals teams stack up. Then at 5 pm ET on ABC/ESPN, longtime rivals Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers meet on Christmas for the first time since 2008.

The Christmas Day excitement continues into the evening with two more star-studded contests on ESPN. At 8 pm ET, Joel Embiid leads the Philadelphia 76ers into Miami to battle Jimmy Butler’s Heat. Then at 10:30 pm ET, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks visit Devin Booker’s Phoenix Suns.

MLK Day Spotlights the NBA’s Commitment to Social Justice

Martin Luther King Jr. Day continues to highlight the league’s commitment to social justice and racial equality. The Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies will host home games on the holiday, while two additional matchups air on NBA TV.

The Hawks face the San Antonio Spurs at 3:30 pm ET on TNT. Then at 6 pm ET, also on TNT, Stephen Curry’s Warriors visit Ja Morant’s Grizzlies in a showdown between two of the NBA’s most exciting point guards. Earlier in the day, NBA TV televises the Houston Rockets versus Joel Embiid’s 76ers plus the Oklahoma City Thunder against LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers.

In-Season Tournament Offers Teams a Midseason Test

A brand new NBA In-Season Tournament will take place from November to December, providing teams with a competitive shakeup midway through the regular season. The preliminary round features 16 nationally televised games in November to determine the eight teams that advance. The single-elimination knockouts and finals will be broadcast in December.

Group play pits all 30 teams against each other on Tuesdays and Fridays in November. The tournament offers a midseason diversion, with winning teams earning money for charity. It could also impact seeding for the playoffs later in the year.

Marquee Matchups in Store on Opening Night

While the entire 2023-24 schedule promises plenty of excitement, opening night draws immediate focus as a launchpad for the new season. Renewed rivalries, blockbuster trades, and incoming rookies signal the start of a fresh NBA chapter on October 24.

From the Nuggets getting their rings to Victor Wembanyama’s first game, opening night begins the journey toward the 2024 playoffs and finals. It only comes once a season, so basketball fans eagerly await both marquee matchups on TNT this year.

Other Notable Games Throughout the NBA Season

Beyond the high-profile games on opening night, Christmas, and MLK Day, there are numerous other intriguing games spread throughout the 2023-24 NBA calendar:

  • The New York Knicks visit Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets on November 27 in an early “Battle of the Boroughs” matchup on NBA TV.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers host the Denver Nuggets on January 27 on ABC. Reigning back-to-back MVPs Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid square off in a clash of dominant big men.
  • Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies take on Zion Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans on February 5. Two of the league’s most athletic young stars go head-to-head on ESPN.
  • Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors travel to Los Angeles on March 19 to battle LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers on ABC’s Sunday Showcase.
  • A potential first-round playoff preview happens on April 7 when the Dallas Mavericks visit the Denver Nuggets on ESPN.
  • The final day features all 30 teams in action, with staggered start times to maximize competitiveness and playoff seeding battles.

The Intersection of the NBA, Esports, and Sports Betting

In recent years, the NBA has embraced partnerships and synergies between basketball, esports, and legal sports betting. This intersection provides new avenues to engage with fans while generating revenue.

In 2018, the NBA became the first professional sports league to enter an official esports partnership. The NBA 2K League features professional esports teams affiliated with real-life NBA franchises. Players face off in the popular NBA 2K video game series.

On the gambling front, the NBA has dealt with DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and other sportsbooks as legalized betting continues expanding across the U.S. Fans can now wager on outcomes for NBA games in addition to engaging in daily fantasy contests.

While not without risks, esports and gambling create new connections between the NBA and its global audience. The league continues embracing new tech and viewing habits to move the game forward.

Plenty of Unknowns Remain

While marquee games like Christmas and opening night are set, much mystery still surrounds the 2023-24 season. NBA storylines, trades, and injuries will shape the playoff races over the course of the regular season. Which players will have breakout campaigns or bounce-back seasons? Which teams will rise up the standings or fall from contender status?

As the calendar turns to October, basketball fans look ahead with anticipation and intrigue about the upcoming 82-game journey. Before long, the speculation will give way to live action tipping off on opening night.