The 2020-21 NBA season officially kicks off on December 22nd. After the shortest offseason in major sports history, the LA Lakers are looking to maintain their status as reigning champions. After an eventful offseason, several title-contending teams are also ready to show off their new rosters. The excitement and anticipation of the NBA opening night is unparalleled as it's the day the best teams face each other to start the season with a series of incredible matchups.
The competition is way higher this season since several superstars have returned from injury and many young players have blossomed into All-Stars. We saw a large number of max extension signings this offseason and a lot of the young players are looking to dethrone the veterans.
Some of the top teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, and the LA Lakers are featuring new rosters. The competition between these teams will be a sight to behold.
NBA 2020-21 Season | Opening Night Schedule
Date & Time: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 - 7 PM ET (Wednesday, December 23rd, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Fixture 2: LA Clippers vs LA Lakers - NBA Regular Season Game
Date & Time: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 - 10 PM ET (Wednesday, December 23rd, 8:30 AM IST)
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
First Opening Night Fixture: Golden State Warriors vs Brooklyn Nets
This is probably one of the most anticipated games of the entire NBA season. Three superstars will be back on the NBA court after significant injuries - Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry. The league hasn't seen the trio play in a long time and the NBA fraternity's excitement to see their return is why this matchup was chosen for an opening night game.
The most disappointing factor in this matchup is the unfortunate absence of Klay Thompson from the Golden State Warriors lineup. Everyone was eagerly waiting to see his return as well, and his absence means the Brooklyn Nets are favored to win this game against the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were teammates with the Golden State Warriors and went to three consecutive NBA Finals together, winning back-to-back titles. The duo was considered one of the most lethal partnerships in the league. When the two teams met last season, the two superstars shared a beautiful moment of camaraderie and brotherhood.
We haven't seen Durant and Curry go head to head since 2016 when Durant was with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The point guard duel between Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving will be thrilling to watch as well.
Check the NBA schedule 2020-21 here.
Second Opening Night Fixture: LA Clippers vs LA Lakers
Having an opening night matchup without 'King James' just doesn't feel right. The LA Lakers and LA Clippers featured in last season's opening night game as well. The LA Lakers are favored to win against the LA Clippers as they are reigning champions. However, last season's games between these two teams were nail-biters and 'The Battle of LA' is one of the most exciting games in the regular season.
The LA Clippers and LA Lakers are long-time rivals as they share the same arena although most Los Angeles basketball fans support the Lakers. The league was eagerly waiting for the two powerhouse teams to face each other in the Western Conference Finals last season. However, the LA Clippers had a disappointing playoff exit in the Conference Semi-Finals to the Denver Nuggets.
We will see LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard go head-to-head once again on opening night and also see a lot of new players sporting the Lakers' Purple and Gold.
Where to watch the opening night games?
Both the NBA opening night games will be nationally televised on TNT and fans all around the world can catch the game live on the NBA League Pass.Published 17 Dec 2020, 22:42 IST