It still feels like the 2020-21 NBA season just ended. Wait, it did. And then the draft and Olympics happened almost immediately.
And now, alas, here we are already looking at the release of the 2021-22 NBA schedule.
The schedule drop has captured the attention of basketball Twitter, naturally. The NBA’s usual offseason shenanigans with players leaving teams in free agency, and organizations making trades to form even more powerful superteams have increased the excitement for this upcoming season.
The entire 82-game schedule for each team will be released on Friday. But some of the marquee games have already been leaked by the league.
The most notable matchups take place on Opening Night and Christmas Day.
The kickoff slate for Tuesday, October 19, will begin with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Brooklyn Nets. It will be ring night for Giannis Antetokounmpo, and it will mark the final celebratory event for the Bucks’ magical regular season and playoff run last season. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden will look to play spoiler though, and get their season off to a hot start as they still have eyes on the ultimate prize.
Later that night, we have arguably the most interesting matchup of the first week of the season. The Golden State Warriors — with a healthy Klay Thompson coming back after two years of injuries — will take on the new Lakers squad highlighted by the acquisition of future Hall of Famer Russell Westbrook. Both teams have a lot to prove this season and have a lot of questions to answer.
The Christmas Day matchups are lit (get it?) too.
The Lakers and Nets are squaring off in what would be a potential NBA Finals preview if all players can stay healthy. Then you add the fact that Steph Curry will matchup with Devin Booker and Chris Paul in Phoenix (late of the NBA Finals), and that’s all you need to know.
Not to mention Trae Young is going back to Madison Square Garden, where he trolled Knicks fans for an entire playoff series last year. Ho-ho-ho, New Yorkers. Finally, Donovan Mitchell and Luka Dončić could put on a scoring clinic in the late-night Jazz/Mavs contest.
Let’s pray all goes well and everyone can stay healthy, despite the quick turnaround (again). Because if that happens, man, this NBA season is going to be fun — real fun.