Please select your default edition
Your default site has been set for 7 days

NBA 2020-21 schedule reveals longer road trips for some teams

The 2020-21 season will get underway on December 22; teams will play a reduced schedule of 72 games, down from the usual 82

The Los Angeles Lakers are the reigning champions
Image: The Los Angeles Lakers are the reigning champions

Some NBA teams will have longer-than-usual road trips this season, the release of the 2020-21 fixtures revealed on Friday.

The league confirmed the schedule for the first half of its truncated 72-game season and it features a rarity, with some teams playing two games in the same city before moving on or heading back home.

It is a deliberate effort by the NBA to limit the amount of actual travel and avoid a repeat of the level of coronavirus disruption to the regular season witnessed in 2019-20.

Teams still play half of their games on the road but it is hoped that the mileage that teams save, among other things, will reduce the risk of transmission.

LeBron James helped the Los Angeles Lakers to glory in the NBA finals
Image: LeBron James helped the Lakers to glory in the NBA finals

Early examples of 'doubling up' include the Los Angeles Lakers playing twice at San Antonio in a three-day span between December 30 and January 1.

Toronto, meanwhile, will play both of its road games for the season at Indiana on back-to-back dates, on January 24 and January 25.

The NBA has continued to omit from the schedule stretches where teams play four games in five nights.

Also See:

Los Angeles Lakers
Image: The Lakers are expected to raise their championship banner when they face the Los Angeles Clippers on opening night

And, as the NBA previously announced, opening night is December 22 with two games - Golden State at Brooklyn and then the Los Angeles Clippers visiting the reigning champions Los Angeles Lakers, a game where the Lakers are expected to display their new championship banner.

The other 26 teams begin their seasons the following day, including the Toronto Raptors, at their temporary home in Tampa, Florida for the first time when they host New Orleans.

There are no games on December 24, as is customary, and then the Christmas quintuple header will take place the following day.

Toronto Raptors will play their home games in Tampa to begin the season
Image: Toronto Raptors will play their home games in Tampa to begin the season

The season will begin amid a spike in coronavirus cases around the country. The NBA had 48 players test positive between November 24 and November 30 as teams returned home to prepare for the start of training camps.

All teams received details of the first 37 or 38 games of their schedule on Friday, up to March 4, 2021.

The league is expected to release the remainder of the schedule in February, with the regular season expected to continue until mid-May.

This will be followed by a play-in tournament from May 18 until May 21, and the playoffs are set to begin on May 22.

Around Sky