NBA Regular Season 2021-22 key dates, NBA schedule, Christmas Day games, how to watch

After the summer break, the NBA teams start their training camps which are mostly in late September. In the training camp, the coaching staff has the chance to evaluate and familiarize themselves with the players who are mostly rookies, they identify the team’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, they train and prepare the team for the regular season as well as determine the 15-man team that consists of 12-man active players and 3-man inactive players which begins the regular season.

Players with less than two years of experience playing as pros are assigned by their teams to the NBA G League, following the training camp several preseason exhibitions matches are held. The NBA regular season kicks off in October the last week however the preseason games are held in cities that do not have any NBA teams that are non-NBA cities and in overseas as well as the United States.

When does the NBA season start in 2021?

The 76th NBA season will begin on October 19, 2021, and end on April 10, 2022.

How NBA team schedule does work in the Regular Season?

The NBA regular season is hectic and during the 2021–22 NBA season every NBA team plays to a full 82-game regular season, that is 41 games both home and away. Teams face their opponents that are in their division four times a year which totals 16 games. From the other two divisions, every team plays six of these teams four times which totals 24 games, whereas the remaining four teams play against each other three times totaling 12 games. Then a team from one conference plays twice against the other conference (30 games). These tight-packed fixtures make the NBA have games on Christmas Day and this has been a tradition since 1947. A good number of the games played during the holiday season feature the best teams and players and NBA games air on network television in the holiday season. Among the games that have been played on, Christmas Day has been the highest-rated. After a month, the season takes a breather to celebrate the NB-All-Star Game which happens annually, throughout the internet, Canada and the United States fans vote and the most voted player in each conference will captain their teams.

All the All-Star players are determined by the fan votes, coaches vote 14 All-Stars, and the most voted player in each conference picks their team from all the All-Stars players selected. The most voted player starts to pick their All-Star team, after the game the best performing player has been rewarded a Game MVP award. The All-Star games have a Rising Stars Challenge, whereby all the players are second-year players and rookies who face off in a basketball game, U.S players play against players who are from the rest of the world; the Skills Challenge, involves players competing to finish a course that has passing, shooting and dribbling in the shortest amount of time; the Three-Point Contest involves players scoring the highest-number of three points within a specified time while the NBA Slam Dunk Contest has players who compete against each other to dunk the ball and are judged based on how they entertain the crowd. The trade deadline comes after the All-Star break and it falls on the 16th of February, after which teams are not allowed to exchange players until the NBA season is over but they may release or sign players. The trade deadline experiences major trade making it hectic for the general managers.

The NBA regular season ends in the mid of April and it is after this time voting for individual awards begins and the selection of league-wide, honorary, post-season teams. The best player coming off the bench is awarded the Sixth Man of the Year Award and the most outstanding rookie is awarded the Rookie of the Year Award. The player from the previous season who shows the most improvement is awarded the Most Improved Player Award, the league’s best defender is awarded the Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the coach who has positively influenced his team is awarded the Coach of the Year Award. The Most Valuable Player Award goes to the player who is the most valuable and the general manager who performs the best job for their franchise is awarded an unofficial award by Sporting News.

NBA schedule for 2021-22 season

Regular season: October 19, 2021 – April 10, 2022
All-Star break: February 18-20, 2022
Play-in tournament: April 12-15, 2022
NBA playoffs: April 16-June 19, 2022 (latest possible NBA Finals game)
NBA Draft: June 23, 2022

After the NBA regular season comes the post-season teams that have the All-NBA Team, the All-Rookie Team, and the All-Defensive team, these three teams consist of five players who are the topmost performing at each position, and the most desirable is the first team status. The All-Defensive teams are two and they consist of the best defenders at each position also two All-Rookie teams consist of the top-performing first-year players.

NBA 2021 Christmas Day (Saturday, Dec. 25) game schedule

GameTime (ET)TV Channel
Hawks vs KnicksNoonESPN
Celtics vs Bucks2:30 pmABC
Warriors vs Suns5 pmABC
Nets vs Lakers8 pmABC/ESPN
Mavericks vs Jazz10:30 pmESPN

How NBA playoffs format work in 2022

The NBA playoffs are the most anticipated games and they immediately begin after the regular season ends, it consists of eight teams from each conference and these compete for the championship title. The regular season record determines how the seeds are awarded and the team that gets higher seed benefits from several advantages. The team with the first seed plays against the team with the eighth seed, the seventh seed plays the second seed, and so on. This means that the team with a higher seed has the advantage of facing a weaker team and the team with a better record is awarded the home-court advantage. The NBA playoffs abide by a tournament format whereby each team faces the opponent in a best of seven series and the team that wins four games advances to the next round. The best of seven series uses a home-court pattern meaning that one team uses its home court in games 1,2,5, and 7 while the other team will play games 3, 4, and 6 in its home court. The icing on the cake is the final playoffs, which is a series of seven games between the teams that have emerged victorious from each conference and is popularly known as the NBA Finals which is annually held in June. The team that wins the NBA Finals is awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, the coaches, players, major contributors, and the general manager of the winning team are given a championship ring. The best performing player of the series receives the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.

How to watch

Live stream: NBA League Pass