The NBA finally unveiled the 2019-20 regular season schedule.
The 2019 NBA offseason was one of the most eventful in NBA history. There were a ton of big names that were moved this summer, and a ton of exciting storylines that came to fruition over the past few months.
It’s safe to say people are seriously excited for the upcoming season. It’s the first year — in what seems like forever — that people don’t have a common consensus on who will win the NBA title. The power in the league is incredibly balanced.
The NBA features 1,230 regular season games every year, and deciphering which ones to watch seems like an impossible task when you first look at the schedule.
Don’t worry, however, we at the Painted Lines have you covered. Here is your guide of “must watch” games for the upcoming season:
Opening Night (October 22nd, 2019)
The NBA has an interesting selection of opening night games for October 22nd. The night will feature a “present versus future” matchup with the NBA champion Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans. The Raptors will receive their championship rings, and you get to see the debut of hyped Zion Williamson. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The other contest going down after this game is the battle of LA, featuring the new look Clippers and Lakers. Both of these teams will be in the hunt for the Western Conference Playoffs, and it could very well end up being the first look at a renewed rivalry. The stars will definitely be out in the city of angels.
Kemba Walker returns to Charlotte (November 7th, 2019)
It was pretty shocking when everyone saw reports that Charlotte’s franchise player — and all time leader in pretty much everything — was bolting up north to join the Boston Celtics. It seemed like the common consensus was he was going to stay put in Charlotte.
Walker did, however, end up going to the Boston Celtics, which retooled for the upcoming NBA season. Kemba is an all time athlete in the city of Charlotte, and there is no doubt he will get a massive ovation for being the bright spot in what has been a mediocre time with the Hornets. This is definitely one of those “feel good” games.
Kristaps returns to the Garden (November 14th, 2019)
The Dallas Mavericks are a massive team to watch going forward. They’ve gone all in with their two young stars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. This upcoming season will be the first that Porzingis has played since he went down with a torn ACL.
The atmosphere of this game will be amazing to see on live television. New York Knicks fans are mad – and for good reason. Their franchise star gave up on the hopeless ownership that is led by James Dolan, and their offseason was lackluster at best. Fans will definitely take out all of this frustration on their former franchise player with a downpour of boos.
Mike Conley returns to Grit N’ Grind (November 15th, 2019)
Mike Conley was a massive piece in Memphis’ greatest season in franchise history back in 2012-13. The team would’ve likely made an NBA Finals appearance if it wasn’t for a loaded San Antonio Spurs team.
Time has now changed, and Memphis went into a rebuild mode after a failed season. Conley was traded to the Utah Jazz as Memphis ushered in a new, younger era for the team. Conley will return to Memphis to take on their new young point guard in Ja Morant.
Jimmy Buckets comes back to Philly (November 23rd, 2019)
Philly fans are notorious for being incredibly harsh on their beloved sports teams, let alone opponents. How the fans react to Jimmy Butler returning back to the City of Brotherly will be incredibly interesting to witness. Will they cheer? Will they boo? Maybe a mix of both? These questions will be answered on November 23rd.
The Sixers will also be an incredibly fun team to watch. This is Josh Richardson’s first game against his old team, and he’s been on the record saying he wants to “kill the Heat.” This game has the potential to become very chippy, and it has to be circled on your calendar.
Old stars return (November 27th, 2019)
Now, I know there’s been a trend with “revenge” games in this, but this will go down as an incredibly fun night for the general NBA fan. Not one, but two (!) former franchise players return to their old cities in what will go down as an exciting Wednesday night.
First, Kyrie Irving will return back to Boston for the first time as a member of the powerhouse Brooklyn Nets. Boston fans were disappointed in last season, to say the least. Kyrie Irving also went on record before last season in what has now become an infamous video of him promising to re-sign with the team. As everyone knows, he didn’t. If I’m Kyrie Irving, I’m not expecting much love from Beantown.
Anthony Davis will also return back to the Big Easy later that night! The trade request saga was one of the major headlines last season, and frankly just a weird situation. He ended the year as a member of the Pelicans before wearing a “That’s all Folks!” shirt to the last Pelicans game.
Anthony Davis just showed up to the Smoothie King Center in a “That’s all Folks!” t-shirt.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) April 9, 2019
This is gonna be a fun night, guys. pic.twitter.com/vvJCsc4IIV
The Pelicans now have an exciting young core, and they will surely be trying to take away Anthony Davis’ spotlight in his return.
Boardman returns to the 6ix (December 11th, 2019)
Kawhi Leonard is arguably the best player in the NBA right now, and his reception in Toronto will certainly show that. He went on a historic scoring run to help them win their first title in franchise history. Kawhi will receive his second career NBA ring, and take on his former team.
The Raptors are still a fun team to watch, even without Leonard. Pascal Siakam is a rising star who should take another leap in his development. The LA Clippers are no slouch either, they are one of the deepest teams in the league and feature two elite, two-way talents in Leonard and Paul George.
NBA Christmas (December 25th, 2019)
The NBA put together a pretty good selection of games to help celebrate the holidays. The day starts off with the Raptors and Celtics competing in a noon contest. Both are good teams in the Eastern Conference and could easily match up in the postseason.
Following up that game, the Sixers and Bucks will face off for the first time. These are the two heavyweights of the Eastern Conference and could very well be the Eastern Conference Finals matchup. This showdown will feature a ton of talented players; Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Brook Lopez will hopefully all lace ’em up on Christmas Day in this one.
The day will then move out West for a contest with the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. Both teams added massive new pieces to the roster Russell Westbrook in Houston and D’Angelo Russell in Golden State. The Warriors have gotten the best of the Rockets over the past few years, but maybe this game can give us a glimpse into the upcoming future out West.
The league will then get a look at another coming of the Battle of LA, featuring the likes of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Danny Green, and DeMarcus Cousins.
To round out the night, the league gifted everyone a matchup between two upcoming young teams, the Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans. Both teams are loaded with young talent that will come with endless highlight clips.
Russell Westbrook returns to OKC (January 9th, 2020)
It’s still so weird that Russell Westbrook isn’t playing on the Oklahoma City Thunder. It might even feel weird come January 2020.
OKC decided to go full rebuild mode after Paul George’s trade demand, which led to Westbrook leaving the only franchise he’s known. Westbrook is arguably the greatest athlete to fully represent the small market team, and he will get a huge standing ovation.
KD returns to the Bay Area (sort of) (March 12th, 2020)
Kevin Durant was a major reason for the Warriors’ two most recent titles. He’s a Finals MVP, and his free agency move back in 2016 had a huge power shift in the NBA. Now he’s on to a new team in the Brooklyn Nets, featuring fellow star Kyrie Irving.
Unfortunately, Kevin Durant suffered a torn achilles in the NBA Finals and will almost definitely sit out this entire season. So, why is this game on the list? Both teams are still very competitive, and it will look to be a great matchup. The Warriors will also almost certainly give a tribute video to the former MVP.
The NBA is a league full of storylines, and there are many games behind the ones highlighted here. Get ready for one of the most eventful seasons in a long time!