The NBA preseason tips off in two weeks.
Like everything with the 2020-21 NBA season, it has come on fast and is condensed. The NBA officially announced its preseason schedule on Saturday. Games will begin on Dec. 11, with teams playing between two and four games — with at least one in their home arena — with the final games on Dec. 19, just three days before the season tips off.
NBA training camps open this coming Tuesday, Dec. 1. The NBA is expected to release the first half of the 72-game regular-season schedule (Dec 22 to March 4) early next week. The second half will be released midway through the season, allowing the NBA to adjust for missed games or other unexpected twists due to the coronavirus.
Here are the highlights of the preseason schedule:
• There are five games on Dec. 11.
• The “marquee” game that night (if there is such a thing in the preseason is the Clippers vs. Lakers.
• The Los Angeles teams play each other twice, part of an effort by the league to have teams play others geographically closer to them to reduce travel. There are a number of teams playing each other twice in the preseason.
• There are no international preseason games this year (the Raptors play their preseason game against Miami on Dec. 18 in Tampa Bay).
• Dec. 12 will see Stephen Curry return to the court as the Warriors take on the Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
• Dec. 12 will see Dallas take on Milwaukee in a Luka Doncic vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo showdown.
• Dec. 15 Philadelphia faces Boston in what will be Doc Rivers first game as 76ers coach.
• The Lakers have four preseason games, two against the Clippers and two against the Suns and Chris Paul. Other teams with four preseason games are Orlando, Atlanta, New York, Detroit, Houston, Chicago, Sacramento, Portland, Charlotte, Phoenix, Memphis, and Cleveland.
• Brooklyn opens its preseason on Dec. 13 against Washington. That game could be the first for Kevin Durant in a Nets uniform (his first since his torn Achilles) and the first game back on the court for John Wall since 2018.
• Defending Eastern Conference champions Miami have just two preseason games, the first Dec. 14 against New Orleans and former Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy. Brooklyn, Boston, Philadelphia, and New Orleans also have just two preseason games.
• The Raptors have just one preseason game at their temporary home in Tampa Bay.