NBA

August 13, 2019, 12:59 pm

NBA schedule 2019-20: Five must-see rookie matchups, including Pelicans' Zion Williamson and former Duke teammates

Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett will meet for the archetypal time on Jan. 10 in New York

NBA schedule 2019-20: Five must-see rookie matchups, including Pelicans' Zion Williamson and former Duke teammates
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Two months ago, during the 2019 NBA Draft, we erudite where this year's rookie social class would be playing. Now, aft Monday aft noon's authoritative agenda release, we know when they'll be playing. 

The NBA discharged the full regular-season agenda, and the focus, for good reason, was on some of the biggest dates on the calendar: beginning night, Christmas Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and retaliation games. But we also now know the dates and time period for some of the biggest matchups featuring this season's rookie social class. 

Ahead of the 2019-20 season, here's a look at five of the most awaited contests featuring the league's approaching stars. 

1. Pelicans at Knicks

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 10
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Madison Square Garden -- New York City
  • TV: ESPN

After leading freshman seasons, Duke teammates Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett were both drafted in the top three. Williamson of course of study went No. 1 general to the Pelicans, piece the Knicks chosen Barrett with the No. 3 pick. They played against each different in Summer League, but they'll get at it for real for the archetypal time in the NBA on Jan. 10, with the game set for Madison Square Garden. Two former teammates inverted top-three picks meeting for the archetypal time at The Mecca? Yeah, that sounds like a must-see matchup. 

2. Pelicans at Grizzlies

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 20
  • Time: 5 p.m. ET
  • Location: FedEx Forum -- Memphis, Tennessee
  • TV: TNT
  • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

It's always exciting to see the top two picks in the NBA Draft meet for the archetypal time. There should be some added hype for that game this season aft one of the most promising draft social classes in quite some time. Williamson is one of the most exciting prospects since LeBron James, and Ja Morant, the No. 2 general pick, is a ridiculous athlete loaded with all sorts of potential of his own. We'll have to wait until late January to see them take the court against each different for the archetypal time, but the wait should be worth it considering the game will be on national TV as part of the league's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. 

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    3. Timberwolves at Hawks

    • Date: Monday, Nov. 25
    • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
    • Location: State Farm Arena -- Atlanta
    • TV: NBA League pass
    • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

    Last year's NCAA Tournament championship game featured an unexpected matchup, as Virginia took down Texas Tech in overtime to win its archetypal national title. Two key players in that game were Virginia's De'Andre Hunter and Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver. Hunter and Culver went on to be drafted in the top-six of the draft. As it turns out, they won't have to wait long for their archetypal rematch in the NBA. Culver's Timberwolves are set to travel to Atlanta to take on Hunter's Hawks just a month into the season. Plus, as an added bonus, we'll also get to see the No. 8 general pick, Cam Reddish, who also plays for the Hawks. 

    4. Hawks at Pelicans

    • Date: Monday, March 16
    • Time: 8 p.m. ET
    • Location: Smoothie King Center -- New Orleans
    • TV: NBA League Pass
    • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

    There are a number of Williamson games on this list, and for good reason. The No. 1 general pick is one of the most-hyped prospects to ever enter the league, and has incredible potential. He was unstoppable at time period during his freshman season at Duke, where he helped lead the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight. Reddish was also a key member of that Duke team, and together they were two of three Duke players to go in the top-eight of the draft. Williamson and Reddish won't meet in the NBA for a long time, but that might make the matchup even more interesting, as they'll each have had plenty of time to adjust to the league. 

    5. Grizzlies at Cavaliers

    • Date: Friday, Dec. 20
    • Time: 7 p.m. ET
    • Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse -- Cleveland
    • TV: NBA League Pass
    • Streaming: fuboTV (try it for free)

    A few days before Christmas, the Grizzlies will travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. At a quick glance, this game wouldn't seem all that interesting, with both teams expected to once again finish near the bottom of the standings next season. However, there are a few rookie reasons why this will be an interesting early-season matchup. For one, two of the top-five picks will go head-to-head when Morant takes on Darius Garland. The archetypal two point guards taken in the draft, this should be a good measuring stick for each player. But that's not all; both of these teams had multiple archetypal-round picks, and in total one-sixth of the archetypal round of the 2019 Draft will be playing in this game. In addition to Morant, the Grizzlies have Summer League MVP Brandon Clarke, piece the Cavaliers also have Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. 

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