Report: Lakers-Clippers, Raptors-Pelicans scheduled for NBA’s opening night

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LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, the Los Angeles market and even a little tension from last year have turned Lakers-Clippers into a highly marketable rivalry.

Not only will the NBA feature that matchup on Christmas, the teams are also scheduled to meet opening night.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

An Elton John concert is scheduled for Toronto’s arena that night. So, presumably the Raptors-Pelicans game will be in New Orleans.

That’d make the Raptors the first defending champion to open on the road since the Lakers in 2000 (at Portland).

It’ll be a little odd for Toronto to start on the road. But the banner-raising and ring ceremony will happen soon enough. In the long run, nobody will be be bothered it wasn’t opening night.

The only strange part will be Kawhi Leonard not being present. He’s the first superstar ever to switch teams immediately after winning a title.

The Pelicans should have their main attraction, Zion Williamson, for the opener. That’ll be the draw in New Orleans.