Preview Roundups
October 23, 2019
Chicago at Charlotte 7:00 PM ET
The Chicago Bulls finished near the bottom of the standings in each of the last two seasons but appear to be a team on the rise with a slew of exciting young players and a relatively healthy roster. The Charlotte Hornets, who host the Bulls in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday, are rebuilding after letting franchise icon Kemba Walker leave in free agency over the summer and are hoping for big steps forward from some of their younger players.
Detroit at Indiana 7:00 PM ET
The Indiana Pacers flew under the radar last season and battled for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference before settling for No. 5 and bowing out in the first round of the playoffs. The Detroit Pistons, who host the Pacers in the season opener on Wednesday, underperformed relative to their own expectations in 2018-19 and are hoping to get off to a strong start in 2019-20.
Cleveland at Orlando 7:00 PM ET
The Orlando Magic look to make the next step after snapping a six-year playoff drought last season as they return their top six scorers for another run that begins with a visit from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, who topped the team with 20.8 points and 12 rebounds per game in 2018-19, leads the way for Orlando after it lost in the first round of the playoffs to eventual champion Toronto.
Minnesota at Brooklyn 7:30 PM ET
Kyrie Irving's time in Boston did not play out as planned, but he has hit the reset button in Brooklyn and will make his regular-season debut for the Nets on Wednesday against the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves. The six-time All-Star put up big numbers in his two seasons with the Celtics but was a lightning rod at times for an organization that had some turmoil in the locker room while falling short of its high expectations.
Memphis at Miami 7:30 PM ET
The Miami Heat have missed the playoffs in two of the last three seasons and look to change that trend with a new face of the franchise as they open the 2019-2020 campaign against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Three of last season’s five scorers are gone, including retired future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, and All-Star Jimmy Butler hopes to lead the Heat back near the top of the Eastern Conference.
Boston at Philadelphia 7:30 PM ET
In their quest to reach the top of the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers plucked a key player away from one of their chief rivals. Center Al Horford will make his debut for the Sixers when they host his former team, the Boston Celtics, in the season opener for both squads Wednesday night.
Washington at Dallas 8:30 PM ET
The Western Conference is loaded with superstar duos but one that seems to be flying under the radar on the eve of the regular season is the pairing of Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic with the Dallas Mavericks. The two will play together in a game that counts for the first time when the Mavericks host the Washington Wizards in the season opener on Wednesday.
New York at San Antonio 8:30 PM ET
The New York Knicks went into the offseason with lofty goals of signing big-name free agents and perhaps gaining the top overall pick in the NBA draft, none of which came to fruition. Instead, the worst team in the NBA last season will forge ahead with a mix of imported veterans and young talent, beginning with a visit to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in the opener for both teams.
Oklahoma City at Utah 9:00 PM ET
The Oklahoma City Thunder are in transition mode after the offseason trades of Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The Thunder begin the task of moving on without the two stars when they visit the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Sacramento at Phoenix 10:00 PM ET
The Sacramento Kings have suffered through a 13-season playoff drought and are envisioning that this is the season for a breakthrough. The Kings begin pursuit of that goal on Wednesday with a road game against the Phoenix Suns, who have missed the playoffs in nine straight seasons and lost more than 60 games in each of the past two.
Denver at Portland 10:00 PM ET
The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets during an intense seven-game, second-round playoff series last season. The two teams renew acquaintances right off the bat when they meet in the season opener on Wednesday in Portland.