2018-19 NBA schedule release: Christmas Day, opening week, MLK Day games trickling out
The NBA season doesn’t start for over two months, but with free agency pretty much wrapped up, it’s about time to start looking ahead to the 2018-19 campaign. That began earlier this week with the release of over/under win total projections by Las Vegas sports books, and now it’s continued with the slow rollout of the upcoming schedule.
We likely won’t see the full schedule for a bit, but we do have some info on the games schedule for important dates like opening night and Christmas Day. As we prepare for the release, let’s go over a few things we know about the schedule.
How many games in an NBA season?
Since the 1967-68 season, each team has been scheduled for 82 regular-season games. There have been discussions about shortening the schedule in recent years, but no changes appear imminent.
When does the NBA season start?
Last season, the start date was moved up from the fourth week in October to the third week in an effort to decrease back-to-backs and eliminate four-game-in-five-night scenarios. The league typically begins play on a Tuesday, so that would make Tuesday, Oct. 16 the most likely start date for the 2018-19 season.
USA Today’s Sam Amick reports that Oct. 16th will indeed be opening night, with a Sixers-Celtics matchup on the docket. That will be followed by the Warriors getting their rings ahead of taking on the Thunder.
How many games are played on Christmas Day?
There are typically five games played on Christmas Day, all nationally televised, with the first game starting at noon ET and the last game tipping off at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Here is the schedule for the 2018 Christmas Day games, as reported by The New York Times and ESPN:
When does the NBA season end?
The regular season typically ends in the second week of April, and the NBA Finals can last until the third week of June.
When will the full 2018-19 NBA schedule be released?
The NBA hasn’t announced a date yet, but last season the full schedule was released four days after the opening week and holiday games came out. That means the full 2018-19 schedule is likely to be released toward the end of this week or early next week.