The NBA announced the 2019 preseason schedule on Wednesday, and a number of games will be on national television prior to one of the most anticipated seasons in years.
Here is a look at the nationally televised contests, while the entire schedule can be found here:
Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT
Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers, Oct. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers, Oct. 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT
It should come as no surprise the showdowns between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors highlight the preseason slate.
The Warriors have ruled over the NBA the past five seasons with five trips to the Finals and three championships, but they have lost their status as the clear-cut favorite with Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala no longer on the team and Klay Thompson nursing a torn ACL that will force him to miss the start of the season.
A number of teams in the Western Conference, including a Lakers squad featuring LeBron James and Anthony Davis, are coming for their throne. These early games will give fans the chance to see how James and Davis play together on the floor while going up against the reigning standard of the West.
Davis' old team will also be a featured attraction during the preseason.
The New Orleans Pelicans will be on national television twice before the regular season even begins, as viewers will surely be clamoring for the opportunity to see No. 1 pick Zion Williamson lace it up. He will face some of his fellow rookies when he plays Coby White's Chicago Bulls and RJ Barrett's New York Knicks in a potential Rookie of the Year race preview.
It is a tall order to expect Williamson to lead the Pelicans to the playoffs in the West with the Warriors, Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets, among others, standing in the way, but how he performs in preseason will help set the narrative entering his rookie campaign.