Additional details about the NBA's 2019-20 schedule continue to trickle out, with the season reportedly set to start on Oct. 22.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium on Saturday, games planned for NBA opening night include the first Los Angeles Lakers-Los Angeles Clippers showdown and the defending champion Toronto Raptors taking on Zion Williamson in his first regular-season appearance with the New Orleans Pelicans.
It's apparent the NBA is using the battle of Los Angeles as one of its key storylines to build this season's schedule.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday the Clippers and Lakers will be one of this year's Christmas Day games.
If the NBA is going to spotlight a rivalry in 2019-20, it makes sense to choose one that features LeBron James and Anthony Davis squaring off with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Williamson's NBA debut will also be one of the most-hyped games of the season. The No. 1 overall pick in June's draft has sky-high expectations and is taking over for Davis as the face of the Pelicans.
The Raptors will start a season as NBA champions for the first time ever, though Leonard's departure has seemingly left them having to prove themselves all over again. Taking on an exciting, young New Orleans team will allow them a chance to make an early statement.
If Oct. 22 is the start date for the 2019-20 NBA season, it will be six days later than opening night last year. One potential reason for pushing the start back is the FIBA World Cup, which runs from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15.