NEW YORK – The NBA released its complete 2019-20 regular season game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN. The league’s 74th regular season will tip-off on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, and conclude on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
The 2019-20 schedule highlights:
EARLIER STARTS: In an effort to present US 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: The cable network did away with its 8 p.m./10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday doubleheaders this coming season, having broadcast 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.
BACK-TO-BACKS: 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 of 12.4 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).
FOUR-OUT-OF-FIVE: For the third season in a row, no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days.
EURO-STEP: 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.
ONE WEEK AT A 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.
FLEX-IT OUT: 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.
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: The fifth season of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC will premiere on Jan. 18.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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 Dončić 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: 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.