NBA unveils 2019-20 game and national TV schedules

NBA.com Global on Aug 13, 2019 06:13 AM
NBA unveils 2019-20 game and national TV schedules
Photo c/o @NBAonTNT

NBA press release

NEW YORK -- The NBA today released its complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio for the 2019-20 regular season. The league’s 74th regular season will tip off on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 (Wednesday, Oct. 23, PHL time), and conclude on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 (Thursday, April 16, PHL time).

Below are 2019-20 schedule highlights:

- In an effort to present national television games to the largest possible audience, the NBA worked closely with its teams and domestic broadcast partners to schedule earlier start times for doubleheaders. This season, 12 of TNT’s 31 doubleheaders and 22 of ESPN’s 36 doubleheaders will tip off at 7:30/10 p.m. ET or 7/9:30 p.m. ET instead of 8/10:30 p.m. ET. The number of doubleheaders at 8 p.m./10:30 p.m. ET on the two networks has been reduced by a combined 42 percent from last season (57 in 2018-19 compared with 33 in 2019-20).

- TNT: The 8 p.m./10:30 p.m. ET starts for TNT’s Tuesday doubleheaders have been reduced from nine last season to two this season. Of the network’s 12 Tuesday doubleheaders this season, nine will begin at 7:30 p.m./10 p.m. ET and one will tip off at 7 p.m./9:30 p.m. ET.

- ESPN: There will be no 8 p.m./10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday doubleheaders on ESPN this season, down from 18 last season. Of the network’s 21 Wednesday doubleheaders this season, 15 are scheduled for 7:30 p.m./10 p.m. ET and six are set for 7 p.m./9:30 p.m. ET.

- Instances of teams playing games on back-to-back days will be an all-time low for the fifth straight season. Teams will play an average of4 back-to-backs in the 2019-20 season, down 36 percent since the 2014-15 season (19.3 per team) and a 7 percent reduction from last season (13.3 per team).

- For the third season in a row, no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days.

- A record 48 games will air in primetime in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with 24 games each on Saturday and Sunday. Those regions will have a full slate of primetime games on both Saturday and Sunday for the first time.

- The NBA will again label its schedule by week to enhance fans’ ability to follow the 1,230-game regular season. Starting with Week 1 and ending with Week 26, each week will run Monday through Sunday.

-  The NBA on TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV will present flexible scheduling throughout the regular season to provide the most compelling matchups to a national audience.

Kia NBA Tip-Off 2019

The first five days of the 2019-20 season (Oct. 22-26) will showcase 16 different teams playing 11 national television games across TNT, ESPN and NBA TV as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2019.

Tuesday, Oct. 22 (Wednesday, Oct. 23, PHL time): TNT Doubleheader

TNT will have an opening-night doubleheader for the 24th consecutive season, marking Turner Sports’ 36th straight year of NBA coverage.

- New Orleans at Toronto (8 p.m. ET): The defending NBA champion Raptors receive their championship rings and unveil their banner for the 2018-19 season before facing the Pelicans in the debut of New Orleans’ Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in NBA Draft 2019 presented by State Farm.

- Los Angeles Lakers at LA Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET): Six-time All-Star Anthony Davis makes his Lakers debut and four-time Kia NBA MVP LeBron James opens his 17th season in a matchup with the Clippers, now with 2019 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and six-time All-Star Paul George.

Wednesday, Oct. 23 (Thursday, Oct. 24, PHL time) : ESPN Doubleheader

ESPN will tip off its 18th consecutive year of NBA coverage with the following doubleheader:

- Boston at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m.): Five-time All-Star Al Horford of the 76ers and three-time All-Star Kemba Walker of the Celtics debut with their respective teams.

- Denver at Portland (10 p.m.): The Trail Blazers and Nuggets meet in a rematch of their dramatic seven-game series in the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals. Portland has won an NBA-record 18 straight home regular-season openers.

Thursday, Oct. 24 (Friday, Oct. 25, PHL time): TNT Doubleheader

- Milwaukee at Houston (8 p.m.): The three most recent Kia NBA MVP Award winners are in action as 2016-17 winner Russell Westbrook makes his Rockets debut alongside 2017-18 winner James Harden against last season’s top regular-season team, led by reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

- LA Clippers at Golden State (10:30 p.m.): Two-time Kia NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the Warriors play their first regular-season game at Chase Center in San Francisco.

Friday, Oct. 25 (Saturday, Oct. 26, PHL time): ESPN Doubleheader

- Dallas at New Orleans (8 p.m.): The new-look Pelicans’ home debut this season comes against 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Don?i? and the Mavericks.

- Utah at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m.): Two-time reigning Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and the Jazz are one of five teams to win at least 48 games in each of the last three seasons.

Saturday, Oct. 26 (Sunday, Oct. 27, PHL time): NBA TV Tripleheader

- Miami at Milwaukee (5 p.m.): Four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler’s first road game with the Heat is in Milwaukee, where he starred in college at Marquette.

- Boston at New York (7:30 p.m.): RJ Barrett, the No. 3 overall pick in NBA Draft 2019 presented by State Farm, makes his home debut with the Knicks.

- LA Clippers at Phoenix (10 p.m.): Leonard and the Suns’ Devin Booker both averaged 26.6 points per game last season.

Christmas Day (Dec. 26, PHL time)

The NBA will feature five games on Christmas Day (Wednesday, Dec. 25 in Week 10) for the 12th year in a row.  ABC or ESPN will televise all five matchups during the 72nd edition of the NBA on Christmas Day.

- Boston at Toronto (12 p.m., ESPN): The Raptors host a Christmas Day game for the first time.

- Milwaukee at Philadelphia (2:30 p.m., ABC): The 76ers last hosted a Christmas game in 1988.

- Houston at Golden State (5 p.m., ABC): The rivals have met in the playoffs in four of the last five years.

- LA Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers (8 p.m., ESPN/ABC): The Lakers have won an NBA-record 23 games on Christmas.

- New Orleans at Denver (10:30 p.m., ESPN): The Nuggets’ last Christmas home game was 25 years ago.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Tuesday, Jan. 21, PHL time)

A TNT tripleheader and an NBA TV matinee will highlight the schedule on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 20 during Week 14.

- Toronto at Atlanta (2:30 p.m., NBA TV): Five-time All-Star Kyle Lowry of the Raptors and 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team selection Trae Young of the Hawks are two of the four NBA players to average at least 8.0 assists per game last season.

- New Orleans at Memphis (5 p.m., TNT): The Grizzlies’ 17th Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Game marks the first matchup between the top two picks in NBA Draft 2019, Williamson and Morant.

- Los Angeles Lakers at Boston (7:30 p.m., TNT): In last season’s meeting in Boston, Rajon Rondo’s buzzer-beating jump shot gave the Lakers a 129-128 victory over the Celtics.

- Golden State at Portland (10 p.m., TNT): The Warriors and Trail Blazers have squared off in the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, including the 2019 Western Conference Finals.

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