NBA schedule 2018-19 updates, rumors: What we know about the schedule for every team so far

The 2018-19 NBA season is still a few months away, but with the schedule slowly being rolled out, it’s more than time to start looking ahead to the new campaign. We’ve gotten a few sneak peaks at the new schedule, with national TV dates for opening week announced, as well as the Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day games. 

Ahead of the full schedule release on Friday, here’s what we know about each team’s schedule so far:  

  • For the second straight season, the Celtics will play in the very first game. This time around, they’ll take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in a rematch of last season’s second-round playoff matchup. 
  • A few days later, on Friday, Oct. 19 we’ll see what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference finals, as the Celtics travel to Toronto to take on Kawhi Leonard and the new-look Raptors
  • On Christmas, the Celtics will once again host the Sixers in a marquee national TV game. Both of these teams played on Christmas last season as well, though not against each other. 
  • After their worst season in over a decade, the Bulls had quite a busy summer. They’ll get a chance to showcase their new squad in a national TV matchup with the 76ers on Thursday, Oct. 18. 
  • We won’t have to wait long for LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland. The Lakers will travel to play the Cavs on Wednesday, Nov. 21, just a little over a month into the season. 
  • The Warriors will once again play on opening night, and this time it will be a rivalry game as they take on Russell Westbrook and the Thunder on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Prior to this game, the Warriors will receive their championship rings. 
  • Later on opening week, the Warriors will travel to Salt Lake City to go up against one of the league’s rising stars: Donovan Mitchell. That game is set for Friday, Oct. 19. 
  • In what should come as little surprise, the Warriors will also headline the Christmas Day schedule. Once again it will be a matchup with LeBron James, but this time he’ll be rocking a Lakers uniform. 
  • Another of the Warriors’ meetings with LeBron and the Lakers is set for a holiday showcase. The second one is set for MLK Day in Los Angeles. 
  • It’s been an interesting offseason for the Rockets, and we’ll get to see how their new additions — including Carmelo Anthony fit together on Wednesday, Oct. 17, when they open their season against the Pelicans.
  • A few days later, on Saturday, Oct. 20 the Rockets will travel to Los Angeles for a clash against LeBron James and his new-look Lakers. 
  • The very next day, Sunday, Oct. 21, the Rockets will return to Staples Center for another national TV game, this time against the Clippers — who will also have a very different looking roster. 
  • Another Christmas, another game for James Harden and Co. Interestingly, they’ll once again be taking on the Thunder, who they lost to last Christmas. 
  • As one of the league’s best teams, the Rockets have a number of marquee dates, and that includes MLK Day, when they’ll travel to Philly to take on Ben Simmons and the Sixers.
  • Now that DeAndre Jordan has left for the Mavericks, the Lob City era is completely over for the Clippers. We’ll get a first national TV look at their new direction on Sunday, Oct. 21 when they host the Rockets.
  • LeBron James will make his return to Cleveland on Nov. 21 when the Cavaliers play host to the Lakers for the only time this season, according to a report. Story
  • The NBA announced LeBron James will make his highly-anticipated Lakers debut on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Portland. Two days later, on Saturday, Oct. 20 James will play his first game in Los Angeles, when the Lakers play host to the Rockets.
  • As expected, James and the Lakers will be featured on Christmas Day when they face the Warriors. It is the fourth consecutive season a team with James will face the Warriors on Dec. 25.
  • As the place of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, it’s only fitting that the Grizzlies would host a game on MLK Day. This season, they’ll be taking on the Pelicans.
  • The Heat will open the season on Wednesday, Oct. 17 with a road game at Orlando and play the second game of a back-to-back to start the season at Washington the next night, Thursday, Oct. 18, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.
  • The longest Christmas Day drought in the NBA is over. For the first time in 41 years, the Bucks will suit up on Dec. 25. And they’ll do it at The World’s Most Famous Arena, where they’ll meet the Knicks
  • DeMarcus Cousins is gone, but the Pelicans still have Anthony Davis. And we’ll get to see him and the rest of their new squad, including Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, for the first time on Wednesday, Oct. 17 in Houston. 
  • Additionally, the Pelicans will be showcased on MLK Day, with an evening matchup against the Grizzlies. 
  • The Knicks’ power as a premier brand in the league has been proved once again. Even though Kristaps Porzingis won’t be healthy, and the team is expected to struggle regardless of Porzingis’ health, the Knicks have once again gotten a Christmas Game. This season, they’ll host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. 
  • The Thunder surprised everyone by re-signing Paul George this summer. But they won’t have much time to celebrate, as they’ll immediately be put to the test on opening night when they take on the Warriors on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
  • For the second straight season, the Thunder will get to play on Christmas. And for the second straight season, they’ll go up against the Rockets in a Western Conference showdown. 
  • The Magic will play host to the Heat on Wednesday, Oct. 17, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
  • The 76ers proved last season that they’re going to be a problem for the league for many years to come. This season, they’ve been rewarded with a number of showcase games. The first, in fact, will be on opening night, Tuesday, Oct. 16 in Boston against the Celtics.
  • Just a few days later, on Thursday, Oct. 18, the Sixers will be back in Philly for their home debut. And they’ll welcome in a young Bulls team that made some interesting decisions in the summer. 
  • In a rematch of their opening night showdown, the Sixers will go on the road to play the Celtics on Christmas Day, in one of the holiday’s premier games. 
  • Furthermore, the Sixers will be on national TV on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as well, when they host James Harden, Chris Paul and the Rockets. 
  • We won’t have to wait long to see No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton on national TV. His Suns will take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
  • What a way for the Trail Blazers to start out their season. On Thursday, Oct. 18, they’ll host the Lakers in what will be LeBron James’ first game with his new team. 
  • In a battle of two Northwest Division foes, the Trail Blazers will head to Salt Lake City to take on the Jazz in this season’s Christmas Day finale. 
  • The NBA announced the Raptors will play twice on national TV the first week of the season. Toronto’s home game on Friday, Oct. 19 will be shown on ESPN and, the next day, the Raptors’ road game at Washington on Saturday, Oct. 20 will be on NBA TV. Story
  • Utah will play host to the Golden State Warriors on Friday, Oct. 19 in a nationally-televised game on ESPN. Story 
  • The Jazz will play on Christmas Day, playing host to Portland on ESPN in the last of five games that day. Story   
  • In a sign that they’ve perhaps been left behind by other teams, the Wizards are not featured on opening night, Christmas or MLK Day. They will have an interesting national TV game during opening week though, as they face the new-look Raptors on Saturday, Oct. 20.

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