The NBA is bursting its bubble and sending its teams on the road again, albeit in a different form than usual out of precautions for COVID-19.
The league’s 72-game schedule, reduced from 82 games because of a Dec. 22 start, was partially revealed with some trips that do not look any different (four- to six-game road trips to play cross-country teams) and some trips that are totally different (playing the same team twice on consecutive nights at the same location).
And we still don’t know how the whole schedule is going to go. Leaving itself room for rescheduling coronavirus cancellations, the NBA announced slightly more than half of the schedule running through March 4, when the six-day All-Star break with no All-Star Game will start. The remainder will be adjusted shortly before the break to accommodate make-up games and changing conditions.
The NBA knows you are a captive audience around Christmas, when five previously announced high-profile matchups occur, and after the Super Bowl. In the two weeks that follow the Super Bowl, the NBA jammed in Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant’s first trip to Golden State since leaving the Warriors in free agency in 2018 and missing last season for injury; Russell Westbrook’s first home game with the Washington Wizards against his old Houston Rockets team; a Miami Heat–Los Angeles Lakers rematch of the NBA Finals; and a Zion Williamson-Luka Doncic matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Dallas Mavericks.
There are some intriguing matchups left unscheduled for later, such as Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets facing his former Boston Celtics team and coach Doc Rivers taking his new Philadelphia 76ers team against his old Los Angeles Clippers team.
For many of you, you just want to know the NBA Finals will start on July 8. Follow the updates until then.