The 2022-23 NBA schedule was released on Wednesday, laying out all 1,230 regular-season games that can be played from October 18 through April 9.
Along with the marquee games that may happen during Kia NBA Tip-Off 2022, the seventy fifth edition of the NBA on Christmas Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the return of the NBA Global Games in Mexico and Paris, the league also announced the debut of NBA Rivals Week.
Classic and budding rivalries between teams and players will take center stage for NBA Rivals Week through the week of January 23. Over the span of 5 days from Tuesday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, Jan. 28, rivalries can be the main target of 11 nationally broadcast games across 4 networks: TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV.
Below is a more in-depth have a look at the NBA Rivals Week schedule and what makes these matchups so intriguing.
Tuesday, January 24 (TNT)
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat | 7:30 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Celtics lead 92-67
NBA Rivals Week suggestions off in Miami because the Heat host the Celtics in a rematch of last yr’s Eastern Conference finals, which Boston won in seven games — but only after Jimmy Butler’s potential go-ahead 3-pointer within the closing seconds rimmed out. These two teams also met within the 2020 East finals, which Miami won in six games to advance to the NBA Finals. But this rivalry predates Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. If we rewind back to the early 2010s, it was a battle of the Big 3s with Boston’s Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen taking up Miami’s Dwyane Wade, LeBron James & Chris Bosh as Miami needed to advance past Boston before pursuing championships (with Allen switching sides in the midst of their run).
LA Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers | 10 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Lakers lead 150-81
Los Angeles is all about star power – each on and off the court – and these two teams have loads of stars. The Lakers are headlined by the trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, while the Clippers boast two of the highest wings within the league: Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. The Lakers have dominated this rivalry historically – leading the all-time series 150-81 — though the Clippers have won the last seven meetings, with the Lakers’ last victory coming within the bubble on July 30, 2020. Can the Clippers keep the streak moving into the most recent edition of the Battle of Los Angeles?
Wednesday, January 25 (ESPN)
Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers | 7:30 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Sixers lead 127-92
To know the magnitude of this matchup, you simply need to look back to last yr’s trade deadline when the Sixers and Nets pulled off a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia and Ben Simmons to Brooklyn. The 2 teams met only once after the trade, with the Nets getting the higher of the Sixers in Philadelphia even without Simmons within the lineup. Simmons didn’t suit up for the Sixers or Nets in 2021-22, but is predicted to play this season. It will not be Simmons’ first return game to Philly – that may happen on November 22 on TNT – but anytime he’s back in that arena is a must watch.
Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors | 10 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Warriors lead 59-53
This can be a rematch of last yr’s entertaining Western Conference semifinals matchup, won by Golden State in six games. Unfortunately, Ja Morant injured his knee midway through the series and missed the ultimate three games, after putting on spectacular performances in the primary three: 34 points in Game 1, 47 points (including all of Memphis’ final 15 points in the ultimate 4:16 of the sport) in Game 2 and 34 again in Game 3.
But this emerging rivalry goes beyond last yr’s playoffs: Andre Iguodala remains to be routinely booed by Grizzlies fans after never playing for Memphis after being traded there by the Warriors in 2019. After winning the title, Klay Thompson called out Jaren Jackson Jr. for using Golden State’s catchphrase “strength in numbers” in a tweet following a Grizzlies regular-season win over the Warriors. After all, Morant responded to that jab by saying the Grizzlies are taking over quite a lot of real estate within the minds of the Warriors. These two will first meet on Christmas Day, but Round 2 can be a part of Rivalry Week.
Thursday, January 26 (TNT)
Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Hornets | 7:30 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Bulls lead 83-47
Head-to-head record: Lonzo Ball 2, LaMelo Ball 1
The subsequent chapter within the sibling rivalry between Chicago’s Lonzo Ball and Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball can be written during NBA Rivalry Week. Entering the 2022-23 season, the Ball brothers have played only three games against each other within the NBA, with big brother Lonzo holding a 2-1 advantage over younger brother LaMelo.
While Lonzo has more wins, Melo has put up higher numbers in games against his brother: 17.3 points, nine assists and 7 boards per game in comparison with 11 points, 5.7 assists and two rebounds per game for Lonzo. After all, there may be one other layer of intrigue on this matchup because it features the team Michael Jordan led to championship glory six times (Chicago) facing the team that Jordan owns in his post-playing profession (Charlotte).
Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks | 10 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Suns lead 103-84
This can be a rematch of last yr’s Western Conference semifinal series, won by Dallas in seven games. However the Mavericks didn’t just beat the percentages by winning Game 7 on the road (entering the sport, home teams were 110-33 in Game 7s in league history), they absolutely crushed the top-seeded Suns to advance to the West finals. Dallas never trailed and led by as many as 46 points before cruising to a 33-point win. A photograph of Luka Doncic smiling while looking up at a stone-faced Devin Booker immediately became a meme and something the Suns would like to erase from everyone’s collective memory. They’ll get their first probability when the teams meet of their season opener on Wednesday, Oct. 19. But this rivalry will still be simmering come late January for Rivalry Week.
Friday, January 27 (NBA TV)
Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves | 7:30 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Grizzlies lead 54-53
This can be a clash of two of probably the most exciting young guards in the sport today – Memphis’ Ja Morant and Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards. In relation to monster dunks, blocks and other feats of incredible athleticism and skill, these two players stand at the highest of the facility rankings. That is the last word “get your popcorn ready” and be in your seat and able to go at tip-off. You don’t wish to miss the following viral moment that either of those players – or each in the identical game – give you that sets the web ablaze.
Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors | 10 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Warriors lead 32-24
This can be a rematch of the 2019 NBA Finals, the series that prevented the Golden State Warriors from posting just the sixth three-peat in NBA history, and the primary to perform the feat because the 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers.
- 1952–1954: Minneapolis Lakers
- 1959–1966: Boston Celtics (8 titles)
- 1991–1993: Chicago Bulls
- 1996–1998: Chicago Bulls
- 2000–2002: Los Angeles Lakers
That series also saw the ultimate appearance of Kevin Durant in a Golden State uniform and the primary of two devastating leg injuries to Klay Thompson that kept him sidelined for 941 days. Thompson returned in January of 2022 and help the Warriors not only return to the Finals but earn their fourth title since their championship run began in 2015.
Saturday, January 28 (ABC)
Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers | 3 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): 76ers lead 52-42
Head-to-head record: Joel Embiid 4, Nikola Jokic 2
This can be a matchup of the highest two big men in the sport today — Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid. These two have finished as the highest two finishers within the Kia MVP race in each of the past two seasons, with Jokic getting the sting on Embiid each times. In 2020-21, Jokic won the MVP vote 971-586, but last season Embiid closed the gap as Jokic’s win was just 875-706.
Jokic is one of the best passing big man of this generation and is within the discussion for best ever as he’s the catalyst for the Nuggets’ offense along with his scoring and playmaking skills. Embiid just became the primary center since Shaquille O’Neal to win the NBA scoring title as his inside-outside game is unstoppable. There may be a mutual respect between the 2, which was on display during last season’s MVP race; while each players desired to win the award, additionally they acknowledged their happiness that either way the distinction was going to an enormous man.
Latest York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets | 5:30 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Nets lead 110-106
It’s the battle of the boroughs in Latest York City because the Nets host the Knicks at Barclays Center. The Nets have now played in Brooklyn for a decade – making the move from Latest Jersey in 2012 – and while Latest York will likely all the time be a Knicks town (much like the Lakers/Clippers dynamic in Los Angeles), the Nets proceed to ascertain their place within the hoops-crazed city. On the court, the Nets have gotten the higher of the Knicks recently, having won seven straight meetings between the 2 dating back to January 2021.
Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics | 8:30 ET
All-time record (regular season & playoffs combined): Celtics lead 206-164
Head-to-head championships: Boston 9, Lakers 3
There is no such thing as a higher option to close out NBA Rivalry Week than with the preeminent rivalry in NBA history – and one in every of the largest within the history of sports – because the Boston Celtics host the Los Angeles Lakers. These two teams are tied for probably the most championships in NBA history with 17 apiece after the Lakers won the 2020 title within the bubble. The race to title No. 18 is on and any head-to-head matchup between these two teams recalls memories of a number of the game’s all-time greats facing each other: Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain; Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird; Kobe Bryant vs. Paul Pierce. Will we have the opportunity so as to add a LeBron James vs. Jayson Tatum matchup in that storied history? If that’s the case, the Lakers will need a serious bounce back after last season’s disappointment of not making the playoffs. Meanwhile, Boston’s first bid for title No. 18 got here up two wins shy because the Celtics fell to the Warriors 4-2 within the 2022 Finals.