Tipping-off October 19, the schedule returns to normal, with every team slated to play 82 games.
The regular season will wrap up on April 10 with playoffs beginning April 16 and the Finals starting June 2.
Because it is the 75th Anniversary season, the NBA has multiple matchups that involve teams that have defined the NBA.
Throughout the 2021-22 regular season, the NBA will feature #NBA75 Classic Matchups to celebrate the teams, players, coaches and moments that have defined 75 years of NBA basketball! pic.twitter.com/NYxx48KqXS
— NBA (@NBA) August 20, 2021
New York Knicks versus Toronto Raptors commemorates the first regular-season game ever played, between the Knicks and Toronto Huskies on November 1, 1946.
The Knicks, Golden State Warriors, and Boston Celtics are three teams that have played in all 75 NBA seasons and will play each other during a four-day stretch in mid-December.
And the Los Angeles Lakers versus Atlanta Hawks is held 50 years to the date the Lakers beat the Hawks to win their 33rd consecutive game – an NBA record.
These historic games will be great matchups between some of the league’s best teams.
But for this article, we are focusing on the future.
Instead of highlighting matchups that involve historic teams from the past, we are looking at matchups that could be the next great rivalry for the future.
Here are three games containing top 2021 NBA draft picks to keep an eye on this season.
3. November 10, Houston Rockets Vs. Detroit Pistons
This is the easiest matchup to include on the list.
The first time NBA fans get to see the number one and number two overall picks square off in a meaningful game.
In a pre-draft interview with GQ, Green was quoted as saying “I want to live in Detroit.”
But after the draft, Green’s tone changed during an interview with Yahoo Sports reporter Chris Haynes.
“I wanted to be the No. 1 pick, but as for the location, I didn’t want to be in Detroit…With Detroit, it felt like I was just going back to the G-League bubble, and I just got out of the bubble.”
Green felt he should have been the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
That distinction went to Cunningham instead, which should give Green plenty of motivation to show Detroit they made the wrong decision.
But it will also give Cunningham motivation to prove to them they made the right decision.
Green’s post-draft comments about Detroit should make the second meeting between these two teams even more exciting.
The Rockets travel to Detroit on December 18 to face the Pistons and what should be a raucous crowd.
2. October 29, Toronto Raptors Vs. Orlando Magic
Second on the list is a game that will feature two more top-five picks and three from the top 10.
The Raptors will be back in Toronto this year, meaning the Magic won’t be able to drive across the state to play them.
This will be an international trip for the young Magic team.
While there isn’t any rivalry between these two teams, the newest Magic guard may feel like he has something to prove.
Most mock drafts projected Jalen Suggs to go to the Raptors at fourth overall.
Instead, they took Scottie Barnes, and Suggs fell to Orlando at five.
– 15.5 PTS
– 6.8 REB
– 3.3 AST
– 41.2 FG%
– 15.3 PTS
– 6.3 REB
– 2.3 AST
– 41.5 FG%
— Sergei (@berezin_goal) August 18, 2021
The Gonzaga product was seen by some as a top-three talent in this class and may have gone first overall in other years.
While Suggs probably won’t matchup much with Barnes on the court, Orlando’s other top selection may face him quite a bit.
Franz Wagner, a 6-foot-9 forward out of Michigan, figures to get some time against the 6-foot-8 Barnes when the two teams play.
All three prospects project to be above-average defenders at the next level with their size, strength, and athleticism.
1. November 18, Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Golden State Warriors
Last on the list is another matchup that features three lottery picks.
Mobley may end up being the steal of the draft as many said he would have gone first overall if not for Cunningham.
Snagging a generational talent at three is quite the steal.
Mobley’s unique frame and skill set make him a dream big man for NBA teams.
His 7-foot frame and 7-foot-4 wingspan give him tantalizing potential on defense.
Excellent timing and agility mean he could both protect the paint and switch out on the perimeter – much like Anthony Davis.
On offense, he showed a great finishing touch in college and flashed a jumper that could make him a multi-level scoring threat.
It will be interesting to see how our Cavs utilize Evan Mobley and his versatility next season. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/LT6ULs3ekB
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationCP) August 22, 2021
Pairing him with Jarrett Allen should give Cleveland a stifling defense.
For the Warriors, they used their two lottery picks to help both the now and the later.
Kuminga, still just 18 years old, possesses an NBA-ready frame with great strength and athleticism.
He should be able to show off his abilities as a cutter in the Warriors’ free-flowing offense while working on developing a jump shot.
Moody is also young, but was an excellent shooter at Arkansas and has the ability to guard multiple positions on defense.
Draymond Green texted Bob Myers after the third or fourth pick with, "Kuminga." Then, after the ninth pick, Green texted Myers: "Moody." After the Warriors made both of those picks, Green texted a thumbs-up emoji.
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) July 30, 2021
Both young wings should help the Warriors win games now and give them two pieces to build around for the future.
This will not be the Warriors versus Cavaliers we were spoiled by a few years ago, but will still showcase tons of talent.NEXT: Warriors Could Be Fourth-Best Team In Own Division