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NBA

NBA Schedule 2019-20: When are some of the best head-to-head matchups of the season?

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The league's best will duel all season, beginning opening night (NBAE/Getty Images)

While some rumours and reports had surfaced ahead of time, the NBA's schedule release means that we finally can view each team's 82-game schedule in its entirety.

After one of the busiest offseasons in recent memory, fans can now mark their calendars for some of the biggest head-to-head matchups that will feature no shortage of star power across the board.

We've got you covered with some of the best, beginning with the opening-night showdown between in-arena rivals.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. LA Clippers

No. of meetings: 4

First game: Oct. 23, 2019, at LA Clippers

The battle for Los Angeles features two of the most talented duos in the NBA.

MORE: Which L.A. duo is better?

These in-arena rivals will square off four times in the 2019-20 season, beginning on opening night, a game that will be considered a home game for the Clippers.

After a busy offseason, the Clippers have emerged as the presumptive favourite to win the Western Conference, meaning LeBron, AD and company will likely take the floor with a bit of extra motivation each time they face the Clips.

Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets

Number of meetings: 4

First game: Nov. 7, 2019, at Houston

There will be no shortage of backcourt talent between these two teams, as there are five All-Star guards in Stephen Curry, D'Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

While Thompson won't return from his ACL injury until the second half of the season, the fact that there will still be an All-Star battle between each team's backcourt adds to the lore of this budding rivalry, as the Warriors have eliminated the Rockets from the postseason two straight years.

In acquiring Westbrook, Houston again looks to leap past Golden State and the other powers in the West.

LA Clippers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Number of meetings: 2

First game: Nov. 7, 2019 at LA

Six games of Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals just weren't enough.

Unfortunately for fans, Leonard's move to the Western Conference means the two superstar forwards will meet a maximum of two times in the regular season, with a Clippers-Bucks Finals meeting being the only hope to see arguably the top two players in the league go toe-to-toe.

MORE: Ranking the NBA's best players

With the amount of talent on display between these two teams being limited to just two games, make the most of these regular-season meetings as they're sure to entertain.

Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Number of meetings: 2

First game: Nov. 9, 2019, at Denver

Who's the best centre in the NBA? It could very well be one of Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid, two players that continue to redefine what the position entails.

While the battle of elite centres is a major component, Denver and Philadelphia are two young teams that are coming into their own as they look to take the next leap to become title contenders after losing in the Conference Semifinal round last season.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets

Number of meetings: 4

First game: November 11, 2019, at Minnesota

Karl-Anthony Towns is yet another All-Star that can make a case for being the best centre in the NBA.

Northwest Division foes Minnesota and Denver will square off four times this upcoming season as Towns looks to propel the Wolves back into the playoff conversation after a down year. Since Minnesota edged Denver in a winner-take-all regular-season finale in 2018, the teams have seemingly gone in different directions. While the Wolves were back in the draft lottery this year, the Nuggets finished second in the Western Conference and look to contend for an NBA title as early as this season.

Each time these two teams take the floor, expect a motivated Timberwolves team looking to make a statement to get back on track.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Number of meetings: 4

First game: Nov. 14, 2019, at Los Angeles

It's always a must-watch when LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors are involved. After facing Golden State four-straight times in the NBA Finals, James made his way to the Lakers, where he meets the team four times in the regular season.

LA's season took a turn for the worse last season in The Bay with LeBron's Christmas Day groin injury but this season, the new-look Lakers will look to make a statement as they take on a Warriors team that has undergone a number of changes this offseason.

Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Number of meetings: 4

First game: Nov. 19, 2019, at Portland

It's a star-studded backcourt duo as Russell Westbrook and James Harden will go toe-to-toe with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

What more could you ask for?

After being eliminated by the Trail Blazers in the 2018 postseason as a member of the OKC Thunder, Westbrook might not admit it, but he has an opportunity to even the score with Lillard, who eliminated the Thunder in unforgettable fashion.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics

Number of meetings: 4

First game: Nov. 28, 2019, at Brooklyn

After All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving elected to join the Nets this offseason, the Celtics quickly regrouped by finding a way to sign All-Star point guard Kemba Walker away from the Charlotte Hornets.

All eyes will be on this point guard battle between division foes as the Nets and Celtics are set to square off four times this upcoming season.

Can Walker lead this team further than Irving did? Will Brooklyn be better off than Boston? These four games might not answer these questions, but they'll provide an idea.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Number of meetings: 4

First game: Nov. 28, 2019, at New Orleans

No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson is the most highly-touted rookie since LeBron James in 2003. Before Williamson? It was probably Anthony Davis in 2012.

Each time these teams meet, there will be three generationally-talented No. 1 overall picks to take the floor.

Add in the fact that Davis spent the first seven seasons of his career in New Orleans and the Pelicans feature a number of former Lakers in Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram, there are plenty of layers to this meeting between Western Conference foes.

New Orleans might be a few years away from seriously contending in the West, but this could be the beginning of a rivalry, with the Pelicans aiming to reach the teams atop the West like the Lakers.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Number of meetings: 4

First game: Dec. 26, 2019, at Philadelphia

Giannis Antetokounmpo. Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons. Three superstars, with Embiid being the elder statesmen of the group at 25-years-old.

Last season, the Bucks and 76ers provided an instant classic in which we saw Antetokounmpo drop a career-high 52, Embiid score 40 and Simmons flirt with a triple-double as he and Giannis engaged in a passionate back-and-forth.

By most accounts, these are the best two teams in the Eastern Conference and each time they take the floor to face one another this season, they'll be looking to make a statement.

Both the Sixers' Ben Simmons and the Nuggets' Jamal Murray have earned lucrative contract extensions this offseason and each team has made moves to acquire more pieces to ensure this season is much different than the last. These teams will play just twice this season, but this could very well be a matchup we see in June in the coming years.

MORE: How Murray can live up to his max extension

Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets

Number of meetings: 3

First game: Jan. 28, 2020, at Utah

Similar to the way the Rockets view the Warriors, the Jazz look to the Rockets as a rival that it has been unable to get by in the last two postseasons.

After losing to Houston in five games in consecutive seasons, Utah had one of the best offseasons in the NBA as it acquired Mike Conley Jr. to pair with budding superstar Donovan Mitchell and signed free agent Bojan Bogdanovic.

With Conley and Mitchell in the Jazz backcourt and the Rockets featuring a backcourt of Russell Westbrook and James Harden, this will be yet another one of the best head-to-head matchups of duos.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Dallas Mavericks

Number of meetings: 4

First game: Feb. 2, 2020, at Dallas

They were traded for one another on draft night, they were the top-two finishers for Rookie of the Year and they are two of the league's brightest young stars.

Luka Doncic and Trae Young will forever be linked to one another throughout their careers, and they now lead two of the league's more exciting young teams. This season, Doncic will have a young running mate in Kristaps Porzingis by his side while the Hawks have established a deep crop of young talent that includes Young, John Collins, Kevin Huerter, De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish.

They'll only meet twice in 2019-20, but the Hawks and Mavs will be two teams to follow for years to come.

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