NBA 2018-19 schedule release: Christmas Day, season opener, MLK Day and LeBron's first Lakers home game

There may still be a couple of months left until the start of the 2018-19 NBA season, but the excitement has already begun. Fans are pumped after some big free agency moves, and now they're starting to get a sense of what the upcoming season will entail. That began earlier this week with the release of over/under win total projections by Las Vegas sports books, and now it's continued with the slow rollout of the upcoming schedule. 

We likely won't see the full schedule for a bit, but we do have some info on the games schedule for important dates like opening night and Christmas Day. As we prepare for the release, let's go over a few things we know about the schedule.

NBA season-openers, opening week schedule

Last season, the start date was moved up from the fourth week in October to the third week in an effort to decrease back-to-backs and eliminate four-game-in-five-night scenarios. The league typically begins play on a Tuesday, and once again that is the case, with opening night set for Tuesday, Oct. 16. 

Here is the entire national TV schedule for opening week. 

Opening night, Oct. 16:

Oct. 17

Oct. 18

Oct. 19

  • Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors, 8 p.m. ET
  • Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET

Oct. 20

  • Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards, 7 p.m. ET
  • Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET

Oct. 21

  • Houston Rockets at LA Clippers, 9 p.m. ET

NBA Christmas Day schedule

There are typically five games played on Dec. 25, all nationally televised, with the first game starting at noon ET and the last game tipping off at 10:30 p.m. ET. 

Here is the schedule for the 2018 Christmas Day games, as reported by The New York Times and ESPN:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day schedule

Once again, the NBA will play a number of games on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21, 2019). This season, that will include a triple-header on national TV. 

  • New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies, 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 8 p.m. ET
  • Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET

When does the NBA season end?

The regular season typically ends in the second week of April, and the NBA Finals can last until the third week of June.

When will the full 2018-19 NBA schedule be released?

The NBA announced that the full 2018-19 schedule will be revealed on Friday, Aug. 10.

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