NBA Unveils National TV Schedule For Opening Week & Christmas Day | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / July 5.
  • NBA Unveils National TV Schedule For Opening Week & Christmas Day

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    The NBA today announced the national television game schedule across TNT, ESPN and ABC for opening week and Christmas Day for its landmark 75th Anniversary Season.

    The complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio for the 2021-22 season will be announced on Friday, Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. ET and include several milestone matchups that celebrate “NBA 75.”

    The first four days of the league’s 75th Anniversary Season (Oct. 19-22) will feature eight national television games as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2021, with TNT and ESPN airing two doubleheaders each.  Those games will showcase 12 different teams, the last eight players to win the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award and three rematches from last season’s playoffs.

    The 2021-22 season will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 19 with a doubleheader on TNT as the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets (7:30 p.m. ET) in a rematch of a 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals series, followed by the Golden State Warriors visiting the Los Angeles Lakers (10 p.m. ET).  TNT will present two opening-night games for the 26th straight season, marking Turner Sports’ 38th consecutive year of NBA coverage.

    ESPN will tip off its 20th straight year of coverage on Wednesday, Oct. 20 with a doubleheader that opens with the Boston Celtics visiting the New York Knicks (7:30 p.m. ET).  In the second game, the defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns will host the Denver Nuggets (10 p.m. ET) in a rematch of a 2021 Conference Semifinals series.   

    Two Conference Finals teams from last season will take the court in TNT’s doubleheader on Thursday, Oct. 21, with the 2021 Eastern Conference finalist Atlanta Hawks hosting the Dallas Mavericks (7:30 p.m. ET) and the 2021 Western Conference finalist LA Clippers visiting the Warriors (10 p.m. ET).

    Kia NBA Tip-Off 2021 will continue on Friday, Oct. 22 with an ESPN doubleheader.  In the first game, the Eastern Conference’s top two 2020-21 regular-season teams will meet when the Philadelphia 76ers host the Nets (7:30 p.m. ET).  In the second game, the Suns will visit the Lakers (10 p.m. ET) in a rematch of a first-round playoff series last season.  

    The NBA will feature five games on Christmas Day (Saturday, Dec. 25) for the 14th year in a row, with ESPN or ABC televising each matchup.

    The 74th edition of the NBA on Christmas Day will tip off on ESPN with the Hawks facing the Knicks in New York (12 p.m. ET) in a rematch of a first-round playoff series from last season, marking Atlanta’s first Christmas Day appearance since 1989.  ABC’s coverage will begin with the Celtics visiting the Bucks (2:30 p.m. ET) and continue with the Suns hosting the Warriors (5 p.m. ET).  Next, ABC and ESPN will both air a matchup between the Lakers and Nets in Los Angeles (8 p.m. ET).  The Christmas Day schedule will conclude on ESPN as the Mavericks visit the Utah Jazz (10:30 p.m. ET).

    The 2021-22 regular season will run Oct. 19, 2021 – April 10, 2022.  The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 20 in Cleveland.  TNT will televise the NBA All-Star Game for the 20th consecutive year.  The 2022 NBA Play-In Tournament will be held April 12-15, followed by the start of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on Saturday, April 16.  

    Below is the national television schedule for the first four days and Christmas Day for the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season.

    Opening Week (Oct. 19-22, 2021)
    Date Road Team  Home Team Time (ET) Network
    Tue., Oct. 19 Brooklyn Nets  Milwaukee Bucks  7:30 p.m.  TNT
    Tue., Oct. 19 Golden State Warriors  Los Angeles Lakers  10:00 p.m.  TNT
    Wed., Oct. 20 Boston Celtics  New York Knicks  7:30 p.m.  ESPN
    Wed., Oct. 20 Denver Nuggets  Phoenix Suns  10:00 p.m.  ESPN
    Thu., Oct. 21 Dallas Mavericks  Atlanta Hawks  7:30 p.m.  TNT
    Thu., Oct. 21 LA Clippers  Golden State Warriors  10:00 p.m.  TNT
    Fri., Oct. 22 Brooklyn Nets  Philadelphia 76ers  7:30 p.m.  ESPN
    Fri., Oct. 22 Phoenix Suns  Los Angeles Lakers  10:00 p.m.  ESPN
    Christmas Day (Dec. 25, 2021)
     Road Team  Home Team Time (ET) Network
     Atlanta Hawks  New York Knicks 12:00 p.m.  ESPN
     Boston Celtics  Milwaukee Bucks 2:30 p.m.  ABC
     Golden State Warriors  Phoenix Suns 5:00 p.m.  ABC
     Brooklyn Nets  Los Angeles Lakers 8:00 p.m.  ABC/ESPN
     Dallas Mavericks  Utah Jazz 10:30 p.m.  ESPN

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.