We have our date with Kawhi Leonard, we have our post-brunch Christmas game. Now, it appears one more question mark on the 2019-20 NBA schedule is getting an answer. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Saturday that the league’s opening night will feature the (NBA champion) Raptors playing the New Orleans Pelicans.
The game will precede a battle of Los Angeles featuring Kawhi and his new team, meaning the Raptors will be a focal point for most of the evening.
The matchup against New Orleans instead of an Eastern Conference powerhouse is a bit surprising to me, but it does give some shine to a young team that could surprise this season. It’ll of course be the debut for number one draft pick Zion Williamson, along with J.J. Redick, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Derrick Favors (amongst others) in their new home.
Now we can finally get out our Sharpies and circle October 22 on the calendar with a heart. It’s the day we finally get some meaningful basketball back in our lives.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story mistakenly attributed the Raptors as the home team in the Oct. 22 matchup. This was not in the initial report.