As expected, the league has officially released the 2019-20 NBA schedule. The release date for the reveal was announced last week, including a number of addition details like the date of the NBA season opener and the Christmas Day slate.
Among the revelations from the full schedule is news that a number of the league’s nationally televised double headers will start earlier in the evening.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that 34 of the 67 double-headers aired on ESPN and TNT will begin either an hour or half-hour earlier than their previous 8 pm EST start times.
Similarly, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that the number of 10:30 pm EST start times for the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors have been dropped from 19 to 10 and 18 to 11 respectively.
As well, Charania reports that back-to-backs have been reduced their lowest frequency ever, a trend that’s developed over the course of the past five season. This year the league averaged is 12.4 back-to-backs per team.
The 2018-19 schedule was on the cutting edge of load management, drastically and intentionally minimizing the number of back-to-backs and labor-heavy stretches of the regular season but at the end of the day, the league as a whole still averaged 13.3 back-to-backs per team.
This year’s season will formally begin on Oct. 22 when the Toronto Raptors receive their rings in their home opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, followed by a first look at the revamped rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. The Clips will be the home team for that game.
The following day, a full slate of 11 games will kick off the 2019-20 campaign in earnest.