1 of 5 | Forward/center Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers will face center Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in a rematch of the Western Conference finals Tuesday in Denver. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will take on the defending champion Denver Nuggets in the first of 15 NBA season openers that span from Tuesday to Thursday.
The Lakers and Nuggets will tip off at 7:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Denver. The game will air on TNT.
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors will host Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns in the other game on opening night of the NBA's 77th season. That game in San Francisco also will air on TNT.
"It's always an exciting time when opening night comes around," Suns forward Kevin Durant told reporters at practice Sunday in Phoenix.
A dozen more games will be held Wednesday, with 24 teams making their regular-season debuts. New teammates Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard and the Milwaukee Bucks will meet the Philadelphia 76ers in the final season opener Thursday in Milwaukee.
"We are a very confident team," forward Anthony Davis told reporters when asked about the Lakers' expectations for the 2023 season. "We are confident in our abilities and what we can do as a team.
"I think we showed this preseason how good we can be."
National TV games
Six games, including five season-opening matchups, will air on national TV from Tuesday through Thursday. That slate starts Tuesday with the TNT doubleheader.
The New York Knicks will then host the Boston Celtics at 7 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN. Rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs will host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on the same network.
Two matchups will air Thursday on TNT. The Bucks will first host the 76ers at 7:30 p.m. in Milwaukee. The Lakers will then host the Suns at 10 p.m. in Los Angeles.
The Bucks and Celtics, who both failed to reach the NBA Finals last postseason, are title favorites in 2023-24.
Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, the Suns and the Lakers are among the other Top 5 expected title contenders.
Reigning MVP Joel Embiid and the 76ers, the Los Angeles Clippers, Mavericks, Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers are among other Top 10 title favorites.
Jokic is listed as this year's MVP favorite, according to most sportsbooks. Antetokounmpo, Doncic, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Embiid are among the other players with the best odds to claim the honor.
NBA openers (All times EDT)
Lakers at Nuggets at 7:30 p.m. on TNT
Suns at Warriors at 10 p.m. on TNT
Hawks at Hornets at 7 p.m.
Wizards at Pacers at 7 p.m.
Celtics at Knicks at 7 p.m. on ESPN
Rockets at Magic at 7 p.m.
Cavaliers at Nets at 7:30 p.m.
Pistons at Heat at 7:30 p.m.
Timberwolves at Raptors at 7:30 p.m.
Thunder at Bulls at 8 p.m.
Pelicans at Grizzlies at 8 p.m.
Kings at Jazz at 9 p.m.
Mavericks at Spurs at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN
Blazers at Clippers at 10:30 p.m.
76ers at Bucks at 7:30 p.m. on TNT
Suns at Lakers at 10 p.m. on TNT