1. Rockets vs. Lakers (Sat, Oct. 20)
Although the new-look Lakers will have a game under their belt with a visit to the Portland Trail Blazers two days prior, it’ll be the home-opener on a Saturday night that will be the most anticipated game of opening week. All the stars will be at Staples Center to witness LeBron James donning his new threads. Combining that, with LA’s newcomers and young returners, it’ll be a fun showdown with James Harden, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony’s Rockets.
2. Celtics vs. Raptors (Friday, Oct. 19)
The Celtics play host to the Sixers on opening night, which also made this list, but it’s Friday night across the border that will be headlining Boston’s tough week. Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving lead the young core of teammates while Kawhi Leonard begins a new chapter in Toronto under first-year head coach Nick Nurse. A Eastern Conference Finals preview this soon? Thank you, NBA schedulers.
3. Wolves vs. Spurs (Wed, Oct. 17)
Former Raptor DeMar DeRozan begins his run with Gregg Popovich Spurs against a Wolves team that is coming into the season with a lot of drama. Will Jimmy Butler get traded? If not, will he sit out? How will Andrew Wiggins respond to the critics? Will Tom Thibodeau change his philosophy? Tune in to find out.
4. 76ers vs. Celtics (Tue, Oct. 16)
Opening up the season with the 76ers and Celtics is just great. As Kyrie Irving said to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols: ‘We’re pretty f’n good.’ Indeed, because the team is stacked. On the other hand, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are must-watch basketball. Additionally, Markelle Fultz’s newfound jumper should be interesting to look out for. Tis the season.
5. Warriors vs. Jazz (Friday, Oct. 19)
The second half of opening night’s doubleheader features the Thunder at Warriors, but the last regular season meeting between the Warriors and Jazz in Salt Lake City, Golden State was wiped out by 40 points. Utah is one of the toughest places to play, and seeing Donovan Mitchell begin his second season against the defending champs will be a great showdown.