by BetAmerica Staff

We may not have the full slate of games for the entire 2018-19 NBA schedule just yet, but the league has released the first week of televised games along with an incredible lineup of Christmas Day games.

As usual, the league is kicking off the regular season with a salivating double-header. The Philadelphia 76ers will visit the Boston Celtics (Tuesday, October 16th at 8pm ET on ESPN) in what’s most likely a preview of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Both the Sixers and the Celtics top everyone’s pick list to come out of this side of the bracket, with Boston gaining steam as the one team with the most potential to actually dust the Golden State Warriors. They just have to cross their fingers that Gordon Hayward lasts longer than he did last season when the Celtics opened up their year on the same date in the NBA regular season schedule. Seeing Hayward and Kyrie Irving back will be a sight for those sore, Boston eyes.

Speaking of the defending champions, the Warriors will host the Oklahoma City later that night (10:30pm ET on ESPN) in a heated matchup that will be preceded by the banner raising ceremony at Oracle Arena. As we wrote last night, the Thunder shed some dead weight over the summer and are ready push for a title as one of the best teams in the west. They’ll get an immediate litmus test right out of the gate. Russell and Durant? What a treat.

Later on in the opening week of the 2018-19 NBA schedule, Kawhi Leonard will (supposedly) make his debut when the Toronto Raptors test themselves against the Boston Celtics (Friday, Oct. 19th at 8pm ET). There’s way too much to unpack here. We’ll get a glimpse of how well-oiled the Celtics are, but there’s no telling if the Raptors are going to be anything worthwhile. Not yet anyways. If Kawhi buys in, they’re the third best team in the conference and could even surpass the 76ers given time. But will Kyle Lowry commit all the way after his best friend, DeMar DeRozan, was unceremoniously shipped to San Antonio? Will the rest of the Raptors? Is Kawhi getting along with his teammates? What is the deal with new head coach Nick Nurse? An entire nation, along with the rest of us south of the border, will be waiting to see just what these Toronto Raptors look like.

The final game of note is the Houston Rockets at the Los Angeles Lakers (Saturday, Oct. 20th at 10:30pm ET) in the home debut of LeBron James and his new team. Nobody has aspirations of the Lakers making a dent in a thoroughly dense Western Conference, but every game with LeBron is a must see on the 2018-19 NBA schedule. This will also be the first time we see Carmelo Anthony and the sort-of-new-look Rockets in action.

The only other part of the 2018-19 NBA schedule posted right now is the Christmas Day lineup, which is below:

2018 NBA Christmas Day Lineup

Visiting Team

Home Team

Time

Milwaukee Bucks

New York Knicks

12pm ET

OKC Thunder

Houston Rockets

3pm ET

Philadelphia 76ers

Boston Celtics

5:30pm ET

Los Angeles Lakers

Golden State Warriors

8pm ET

Portland Trail Blazers Utah Jazz

10:30pm ET

The remainder of the 2018-19 NBA schedule will be released shortly so stay tuned. We are just a couple months away from feasting on daily NBA betting lines!