The 2022/23 NBA season gets underway on October 18th with two high-profile games from each conference.
Last season's runners-up Boston Celtics entertain a Philadelphia 76ers outfit who will feel they have a chance of going all the way this year, before defending champions Golden State Warriors host Los Angeles Lakers at the Oracle Arena.
There are 30 teams involved in the NBA this year, 29 from the USA and Toronto Raptors from Canada, and the Dubs go into the season seeking a fifth title in nine years. Boston may well be the team to beat in the East once again but they have had offseason turmoil, with head coach Ime Udoka suspended for the entirety of the season and assistant Joe Mazzulla hired in an interim capacity in his place.
Golden State are +600 to successfully defend the championship, Boston can be backed at +700 to go one better and claim what would be a record 19th title, while Milwaukee Bucks are +650, Los Angeles Clippers are +650, Phoenix Suns can be backed at +900 and Brooklyn Nets are rated at +700.
The NBA reason runs from October 18th through to April 9th 2023 with 82 regular season games. The play-in tournament then runs from April 11th to the 14th, with the playoffs beginning on April 15th and concluding in June.
The league is split into two conferences, the East and West, and each conference has three divisions. The divisions play a role in the schedule, but final places in the conferences carry more weight. The top six teams in each conference secure automatic playoffs spots and then the teams that finish from seventh to 10th qualify for the play-in tournament, with two teams from each conference then claiming the final playoff spots.
The playoffs are contested by 16 teams in total and seedings are decided based on regular season standings. Playoff series are contested over best-of-seven series to decide an Eastern Conference champion and a winner from the West, and those two teams then compete in the NBA Finals Series.
After three years without any international games, the NBA has reintroduced the NBA Global Games with two regular season games being played outside the United States and Canada.
On December 17th, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will meet at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico, while on January 19th the NBA heads to Europe as Central Division rivals Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons clash at the Accor Arena in Paris, France.
The All-Star break will take place in February, with the 2023 All-Star Game taking place on February 19th at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
There have been a number of coaching changes during the offseason as the teams prepare for the new season. The Los Angeles Lakers were the first to make a move as Frank Vogel, who guided the team to the championship in 2020, was axed in early April and then replaced by Darvin Ham for his first senior coaching role in the NBA.
Sacramento Kings hired former Golden State assistant Mike Brown after deciding not to continue with Alvin Gentry after his interim stint in charge, while James Borrego was axed by Charlotte Hornets and replaced by Steve Clifford.
The biggest changes have perhaps taken place at Utah Jazz as long-serving coach Quinn Snyder resigned. The Jazz have embarked on a rebuild over the summer as big names Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchel have departed, while former Spurs and Celtics assistant Will Hardy is their new coach going into the 2022/23 season.
Meanwhile, Boston suspended coach Udoka for the season after he led them to last season's Finals Series in his first season in charge for violations of team policies and Mazzulla was placed in charge of the team for the 2022/23 season.
One of the major talking points during the summer was the futures of Brooklyn Nets pair Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving after both requested trades. Ultimately, the two stars both remained in Brooklyn and the Nets retained the services of coach Steve Nash but it remains to be seen how long that particular truce will last.
There was tentative talk LeBron James could seek a move as well but the four-time champion opted to stay in LA and signed a new two-year deal with the Lakers - but there have been some big moves elsewhere.
Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Gobert swapped Utah for Minnesota Timberwolves and former team-mate Mitchell joined Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics brought in Malcom Brogdon from Indiana Pacers to strengthen up their backcourt options. Atlanta Hawks have made some bold moves as they sacrificed a number of draft picks to acquire guard Dejounte Murray from the Spurs, as well as brining in forwards Justin Holiday and Mo Harkless from the Kings, with Kevin Huerter moving in the opposite direction.