NBA Schedule

2021/22 NBA Regular Season To Begin On October 19

The NBA’s 2021/22 regular season will tip off on October 19, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Charania, the league sent a memo to teams today to inform of that date and several others, confirming that the annual calendar will return to normal next season.

Per Charania, some of the other key dates are as follows:

  • September 28, 2021: Training camps begin
  • April 16, 2022: Playoffs begin
  • June 2, 2022: NBA Finals begin
  • June 19, 2022: Last possible date for NBA Finals (Game 7)
  • June 23, 2022: NBA draft

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in a disruption to the NBA’s usual schedule, leading to a shortened offseason in both 2020 and 2021. There was some talk last year about the possibility of the league embracing the change and moving its calendar back by a couple months on a permanent basis, but that talk quickly subsided, particularly when TV ratings were down for last year’s playoffs, which took place in the summer.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes noted this week that a decision was collectively made by the NBA, the players’ union, and the league’s TV network partners to get the annual schedule back to normal as quickly as possible rather than doing so slowly over the course of a few years. Today’s memo to teams confirms that will happen in 2021/22.

And-Ones: Barea, Schedule, COVID-19, Future Rankings

Due to family-related commitments, veteran guard J.J. Barea had to leave Spanish club Estudiantes before the team’s season formally ends, he announced on Instagram (hat tip to Sportando). Barea signed back in January to spent the season in Spain after being waived by Dallas in December.

Reports earlier this year indicated that Barea’s contract with Estudiantes included an NBA out and that he remained “determined” to make it back to the NBA. Teams technically have until Sunday to sign free agents, and Barea would be postseason-eligible if he returns, but there has been no indication so far that an NBA club intends to sign him.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the league:

  • The NBA has formally announced the start times for its Saturday and Sunday games. There was reportedly some consideration given to having all of Sunday’s games start around the same time in the afternoon to avoid last-minute tanking, but logistical concerns – including those related to COVID testing – prevented that from happening. Most of Sunday’s games will tip off in the evening.
  • The NBA and NBPA announced on Wednesday that only one of the 497 players tested for COVID-19 since May 5 returned a new confirmed positive test. That’s an encouraging result with the playoffs around the corner — it’s the lowest weekly total among players since April 7-14.
  • Speaking of the playoffs and COVID-19, the NBA is still weighing how to handle positive tests in the postseason to avoid the risk of potential spread, according to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, who says the league has discussed the possibility of delaying postseason games if necessary.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) have updated their future power rankings, which rank the NBA’s teams based on their projected success for the next three seasons beyond 2020/21. The Nets and Clippers sit atop the list, with the Knicks moving all the way up from No. 27 to No. 7. The Cavaliers continue to hold the bottom spot, while the Timberwolves have slipped to No. 29.

NBA Reveals Second-Half Schedule For 2020/21

The NBA has officially unveiled its schedule for the second half of the 2020/21 regular season, which will get underway on March 10 and will run through May 16. The regular season will be followed by a play-in tournament from May 18-21, with the postseason getting underway on May 22.

The league intentionally put off finalizing the second-half schedule until now in order to account for the many postponements that have occurred during the first half due to the coronavirus and a weather-related emergency in Texas. A total of 33 games originally scheduled for the first half had to be postponed, though two of those contests were incorporated into the later part of the first-half schedule.

The plan for now is for all 30 teams to play a full 72-game schedule, which means the teams hit hardest by postponements in the first half will face a rigorous second-half slate. The Grizzlies, for instance, have to make up six first-half games and are scheduled to play 40 games in 68 days in the second half, including 11 back-to-back sets.

The full day-by-day schedule for the second half can be found right here.

Listed below are links to the rest-of-season 2020/21 schedules for each NBA team, organized by conference and division:


Atlantic Division

Central Division

Southeast Division


Northwest Division

Pacific Division

Southwest Division

NBA Aims To Hold Vegas Summer League In August

The NBA is working toward holding its annual Las Vegas Summer League sometime in early- or mid-August in 2021, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. The league is still figuring out all the specifics, sources tell ESPN.

The NBA was forced to scrap its 2020 Summer League in Las Vegas due to the coronavirus pandemic — the league was ramping up for its summer restart at Walt Disney World in July at the time the Vegas Summer League would typically have taken place.

The 2020/21 season is scheduled to end about a month later than usual, with the playoffs set to run through mid-July. As such, it makes sense that the NBA would also push back its Summer League dates by about a month. It’s safe to assume there will be a number of strict health and safety restrictions in place for the event, even if the pandemic outlook has improved by the summer.

Within their report, Wojnarowski and Lowe also provide some details on the NBA’s second-half schedule, noting that teams expect to see a draft version either this weekend or sometime next week.

According to Woj and Lowe, the plan for now is to have all 30 teams play a full 72-game slate, even if that requires more back-to-back sets down the stretch for the clubs that have to make up several postponements from the first half.

However, the NBA has acknowledged that if more games have to be postponed during the second half, there’s a chance not every team will be able to play 72 games, per ESPN’s duo. That admission suggests that the possibility of pushing back the start and end of the postseason isn’t currently on the table.

NBA To Resume Play March 10 After All-Star Break

The NBA schedule will resume on March 10 after the All-Star break, one day earlier than originally planned, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets.

Games on that date will likely includes teams that have few or no All-Stars, giving the clubs with more All-Star players an extra day or two to prepare for the second half of the season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. As previously reported, all players must return to their home markets two days prior to their team’s first post-All-Star break contest (Twitter links).

The league is trying to squeeze in the remainder of the regular season games prior to the postseason, which is slated to begin on May 18 with the new Play-in Tournament. Resuming play the Wednesday after the All-Star break could help the league reach that goal. The Spurs-Pistons postponement this Tuesday is the 24th this season due to COVID-19, as we noted earlier today.

Earlier this month, the NBA and Players Association reached an agreement to hold an All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7. The usual skills competitions will also be held but they will occur on the same day as the game. The 3-point event and Skills Challenge will be held prior to the game and the dunk contest will take place at halftime, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

NBA Announces February Schedule Shifts, Moves Four Game Dates

The NBA has announced several adjustments to its upcoming February schedule, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Four games will be moved up in the NBA’s schedule. The start times of 16 games have been affected thus far, to accommodate for same-day RT-PCR molecular test results for the novel coronavirus.

The CelticsRaptors game initially penciled in for February 12 will be moved up one day to February 11. The Celtics’ next contest, hosting the Pistons, will move up from February 14 to February 12.

Finally, Boston’s trip to D.C. for a game against the Wizards – which had been expected to transpire in the second half of the 2020/21 season – has been moved up to an afternoon Valentine’s Day time slot. A Pistons home bout against the Pelicans that had been set for the second half of the compressed year has now also been moved up to February 14.

Fred Katz of The Athletic adds (Twitter link) that, with their rescheduled Celtics game now moved, the Wizards are now set to play 16 games, with five back-to-backs, for the month of February. The club was severely hamstrung by COVID-19 health and safety protocols this month, resulting in six postponements.

NBA Makes Schedule Changes

Some of the 22 games that have been postponed due to COVID-19 will be rescheduled for the first half of the season, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The decision was made “with a specific focus on the teams with the most postponed games to date,” according to a statement from the NBA.

The league wants to avoid overloading teams such as the Wizards and Grizzlies, who have each had six games called off so far. If all those games had been made up in the second half, as originally planned, Washington and Memphis would both have been required to play 41 times in 67 days. The second part of the season will run from March 11 through May 16.

The first change will take effect Tuesday when the Wizards host the Trail Blazers in a game that had been intended for the second half of the season. A Portland-Charlotte game on February 7 has been replaced by a Wizards-Hornets matchup that was originally scheduled for January 20. The Blazers’ game against the Hornets will be put on the second-half schedule.

No other schedule changes have been released so far. A complete list of the postponed games can be found here.

2020/21 NBA First-Half Schedules By Team

The NBA has officially unveiled its schedule of games and national broadcasts for the first half of the 2020/21 season. As previously reported, the season will tip off with a Nets vs. Warriors and Clippers vs. Lakers doubleheader on Tuesday, December 22.

The first half of the regular season will run through March 4. The schedule for the second half of the season (March 11 to May 16) will be released during the latter part of the first half, according to the league. The goal is to maintain scheduling flexibility to account for possible coronavirus-related postponements and/or cancellations.

In the first half, each team will play either 37 or 38 games, including between 17 and 20 home games. In a number of instances, teams will play the same opponent in the same arena in back-to-back games in order to reduce travel.

Listed below are links to the first-half 2020/21 schedules for each NBA team, organized by conference and division:


Atlantic Division

Central Division

Southeast Division


Northwest Division

Pacific Division

Southwest Division

NBA Opening Night To Feature Lakers/Clippers, Nets/Warriors

2:20pm: The NBA has confirmed the opening night games detailed below, as well as the previously-reported Christmas Day schedule. The league also said that the Bucks will play the Celtics in Boston on December 23 (TNT), followed by the Mavericks playing the Suns in Phoenix (ESPN).

The full first-half schedule will be announced on Friday, December 4, according to the NBA.

10:47am: The tentative schedule for the NBA’s opening night TNT doubleheader on December 22 will see the Nets host the Warriors, followed by the Lakers and Clippers facing off in Los Angeles, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

All four teams are scheduled to be in action on Christmas Day as well, with the Warriors visiting Milwaukee, the Nets playing in Boston, the Lakers hosting the Mavericks, and the Clippers playing in Denver.

However, the two opening night matchups are arguably more intriguing than those December 25 games. The first game of the night will see Kevin Durant make his Nets debut against his old team, while the late game will be the battle of Los Angeles that we didn’t get to see in last season’s Western Conference Finals.

With opening night less than three weeks away, the NBA is expected to officially announce its schedule any day now. The league will reportedly just reveal the first half of the 2020/21 schedule for the time being, with the second-half schedule to be announced at some point in the new year. The NBA wants to maintain scheduling flexibility due to possible COVID-19 complications.

Lakers, Celtics Among Teams Hosting Christmas Day Games

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets that the NBA has set its Christmas Day schedule for 2020/21.

Woj emphasizes that the currently starry five games scheduled are “tentative.” That’s likely due to the risk of COVID-19 cases preventing certain contests, rather than the league continuing to finalize the schedule.

ESPN reporters Andrew Lopez, Eric Woodyard, Nick Friedell, Dave McMenamin, and Ohm Youngmisuk have weighed in on the five scheduled games.

Here’s the full list of anticipated Christmas Day matchups, per Woj’s reporting:

  • New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat, 12 p.m. EST
  • Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks, 2:30 p.m. EST
  • Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics, 5 pm. EST
  • Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers, 8 p.m. EST
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. EST

All four 2020 conference finalists will be present, though none will be facing each other. The champion Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis and filled out by a revamped roster of role players, will host the Mavericks, looking to take a leap in the standings after rising superstar Luka Doncic‘s first All-Star season.

The Eastern Conference champion Heat, fronted by Jimmy Butler and newly-extended Bam Adebayo, will host another Western Conference club with a promising rep from the NBA’s next wave of superstars, the Pelicans and second-year forward Zion Williamson.

The Nuggets/Clippers matchup should feature plenty of fireworks, as Los Angeles faced ample scrutiny for letting go of the rope enough for Denver to climb all the way out of a 3-1 deficit to win their second-round matchup during the 2020 playoffs.

The Celtics will square off against the formidable Nets, piloted by a newly healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, will do battle with Durant’s old club, the Warriors, led by a former two-time MVP of their own in Stephen Curry. Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have recorded league-leading regular season records, only to fall short of the Finals in the playoffs during each of the last two seasons. Milwaukee is no doubt hopeful that its offseason makeover will amend that. The Warriors, meanwhile, saw their championship hopes jeopardized after All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson incurred an Achilles tear that will sideline him for the entire season.

The Raptors, Rockets and Sixers, three perennial playoff clubs that (currently) have two All-Stars apiece, appear to be the biggest snubs this season, although the fate of Houston’s two All-Stars remains in flux.

Assuming every game happens as scheduled, which December 25 bout are you most excited for in 2020? Are there any teams or matchups you’re disappointed to see (or not see) listed? Let us know what you think in our comments section!