• The NBA’s 73rd season tips off Tuesday, October 16th, the earliest start to a season since the 1980-81 season began Oct. 10.
• The number of times when teams play games on back-to-back days will be an all-time low for the fourth consecutive season. The team average is 13.3 back-to-backs, down 31 percent since the 2014-15 season (19.3 per team). For the second season in a row, no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days.
• For the second straight year, the NBA will label its schedule by week to enhance the ability of fans to follow the 1,230-game regular season. Starting with Week 1 and ending with Week 26, the weekly structure will help reinforce awareness of upcoming games and communicate key storylines. Each week will run Monday through Sunday.
• Entering 2018-19, NBA opening-night rosters have featured at least 100 international players in each of the last four seasons. The record for international players on opening-night rosters is 113, set at the start of the 2016-17 season. The record for countries and territories represented is 42, set at the start of the 2017-18 season. Opening-night rosters
for the 2018-19 season will be set on Oct. 15.
• In a new rule implemented this season, the shot clock will reset to 14 seconds in three scenarios: 1) after an offensive rebound of a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim; 2) after a loose ball foul is called on the defensive team immediately after a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim; or 3) after the offensive team gets possession of
the ball after it goes out of bounds immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim.
• TNT will have a doubleheader on NBA opening night for the 23rd consecutive year.
• A player has scored 50 or more points in his team’s season opener five times in NBA history: San Francisco’s Wilt Chamberlain (56 points in 1962), Chicago’s Michael Jordan (54 in 1989), Minneapolis’ Elgin Baylor (52 in 1959), Chicago’s Jordan (50 in 1986) and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis (50 in 2016). Jordan is the only player to accomplish the feat multiple times.
• Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant rank first and second, respectively, in regular-season and postseason scoring average among active players. They have nearly identical averages in both categories: Regular Season – James leads Durant 27.15 ppg to 27.12 ppg; Postseason – James leads
Durant 28.92 ppg to 28.79 ppg.
• Dallas Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan, who spent the previous 10 seasons with the LA Clippers, has the highest field goal percentage in NBA history in both the regular season (67.3) and the playoffs (66.2).
• The Golden State Warriors hold the NBA record for consecutive wins to start a season, going 24-0 to open the 2015-16 season. They also own the NBA’s best one-loss (29-1) and two-loss (36-2) starts, also from 2015-16. The Chicago Bulls produced the best three-loss start, a 41-3 record in 1995-96.
• Reigning NBA champions have a 56-15 record (.789) in regular-season openers the following season.
• The Portland Trail Blazers have won an NBA-record 17 consecutive home regular-season openers. Their first home game this season is against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, Oct. 18 in LeBron James’ Lakers debut.
• The Toronto Raptors have won five consecutive regular-season openers, the NBA’s longest active streak.
• San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is 19-2 in regular-season openers.
• Five head coaches are set to coach an NBA regular-season opener for the first time: J.B. Bickerstaff (Memphis Grizzlies), James Borrego (Charlotte Hornets), Igor Kokoskov (Phoenix Suns), Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors) and Lloyd Pierce (Atlanta Hawks).
• The Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers will both be playing their 70th NBA seasons. The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic will both be playing their 30th NBA seasons.
• The modifications to the NBA Draft Lottery that the NBA Board of Governors approved last year will be implemented for the 2019 NBA Draft. The new system will level the odds at the top of the Draft Lottery so that the teams with the three worst regular-season records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery.