The NBA released its 2021-22 schedule on Friday, August 20th.
The new season will be the first since 2018-19 to feature a full 82-game schedule for each of the league’s 30 teams, barring future changes. The 2019-20 campaign was suspended due to COVID-19, and was started up again, and finished, in Orlando’s Disney World over the summer. Due to that season’s late finish, the NBA went with a 72-game season in 2020-21.
Opening Night Schedule
Opening night will take place on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021. The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks will host the star-studded Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 pm Eastern time, followed by a matchup between Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors and LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers at 10:00 pm ET from LA. Both games will be aired live on TNT.
NBA 75 Classic Matchups Schedule
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the league has scheduled five ‘NBA 75 Classic Matchups’.
The Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks will play the first of these games on November 1st, 2021; the 75-year anniversary of the league’s first NBA game which featured the Knicks and the Toronto Huskies in 1946.
The Knicks, Warriors and Boston Celtics, the only three franchises that have taken part in every NBA season since the league was created, will each face one another over the course of five days from December 14th to 18th.
Finally, the Lakers will host the Atlanta Hawks on the 50-year anniversary of the Lakers’ NBA-record 33-game win streak. The Lakers won their 33rd-straight game, against Atlanta on January 7th, 1972.
Christmas Day Schedule
This year’s Christmas day games will include:
Hawks at Knicks – 12:00 pm ET, EPSN
Celtics at Bucks – 2:30 pm ET, ABC
Warriors at Suns – 5:00 pm ET, ABC
Nets at Lakers – 8:00 pm ET, ABC/ESPN
Mavericks at Jazz – 10:30 pm ET, ESPN
The NBA All-Star break will begin on Friday, February 18th, 2022. The All-Star Game will be played on Sunday the 20th in Cleveland, Ohio and the break will conclude on the 24th.
The Raptors are expected to return to Toronto for the 2021-22 campaign, although it has not been confirmed yet. The team spent last season in Tampa, Florida and shared an arena with the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Raptors will host the Washington Wizards on October 20th, 2021 for their home opener, which is expected to be played in Scotiabank Arena at 7:30 pm ET.
The Raptors will host the Chicago Bulls on October 25th, in what should be DeMar DeRozan’s first return to Toronto since joining the Chicago Bulls. DeRozan, who spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career with the Raptors, was traded to San Antonio as part of the deal that sent Kawhi Leonard to Toronto in 2018. He then spent three seasons in San Antonio before joining the Bulls via sign-and-trade this summer.
Toronto gets two nationally televised games this season. The first will be a road game in Washington, aired by ESPN on January 21st, 2022.
Raptor legend Kyle Lowry, who was sign-and-traded to the Miami Heat this offseason, will make his highly anticipated return to Toronto on Thursday, February 3rd. Aired on TNT, it will be an emotional night at Scotiabank Arena, and undoubtedly the most in-demand ticket of the Raptors’ regular season schedule.
The Raptors’ biggest homestand of the 2021-22 campaign will take place from November 28th to December 13th, when the team plays seven-straight games at home.
Their longest road trip will come in March, starting on the 6th. The Raptors will play six-straight road games over that stretch, with the final game coming on the 16th.
End of Season Schedule
The regular season will conclude on April 10th, 2022 and the play-in tournament will be settled between the 12th and 15th before the playoffs officially begin on the 16th.
The NBA Finals will start on June 2nd and, if the series goes seven games, will wrap up on the 19th.
Finally, the 2022 NBA Draft will take place on June 23rd.