National Basketball Association releases 2019-20 schedule, doubleheaders to tip off earlier

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It won't take long for Celtics fans to start missing Al Horford - he'll be lining up across from our guys literally from the jump of the NBA's 2019-20 season.

The NBA season will begin on October 22, one week later than past year.

Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans will be in town to see the Raptors raise the championship banner and receive their rings on October 22 to kick off Toronto's 25th season in the National Basketball Association.

If Boston Celtics rookie forward Grant Williams hasn't already carved a shamrock-shaped space in your heart with how he's embraced his new team, the Tennessee product ought to after how he described what he thinks of this season's Boston Celtics roster.

11 with his Los Angeles Clippers in what will be sure to be an emotional night (though not for the ever-stoic Leonard), while Green doesn't come back to town with LeBron James and the Lakers until March 24, about a week after the runner-up Golden State Warriors make their lone Toronto appearance. They'll play on ESPN, TNT or ABC 25 times, including four on ABC.

The next time the team faces the Raptors will be on Christmas Day - the fourth-straight year and 33rd time in franchise history that the Celtics will play a December 25 game.

Leonard, meanwhile, will be making his debut for the Clippers, alongside newly-acquired talent Paul George.

- The Celtics will host No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on January 11. December 5 - Former MVPs James Harden and Russell Westbrook play lone Toronto game with Houston on Giants of Africa night.

- The Celtics will host Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets on November 27.

Boston's home opener will be October 25 versus Toronto. (This brings to an end Boston's two-year run of hosting a yuletide game.) Not to be forgotten, Aron Baynes and Phoenix will visit Boston on January 18.

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