Key dates for the 2018-19 NBA season

We're getting close to actual basketball news to write about, folks.

As we enter the final days of the month of August, we find ourselves as antsy as we've been since the summer of 2008 to see how this year's Boston Celtics will look on the court. But before we get to do that, we've got to get to training camp, exhibition games, and then, finally, the regular season.

Like most of you, I wasn't even certain about when most of that actually happened, so I decided to write on some of the more important dates of the coming season, just so we can plan accordingly.

Before any of the official NBA dates fall, there will be the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductions on the 7th of September, which, as we've noted, will be held in Springfield, Massachusetts, and featuring a large number of former Cs - try and make it if you're in the area!

After that, things will stay quiet (we think, anyhow) until a little more than two weeks later, on the 25th of September, when all teams not participating in the NBA's Global Games (this season, the Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks, who are allowed to start camp a few days earlier) are allowed to start camp. Expect no delays from Boston, whose players are reportedly chomping at the bit to get back to work.

Three days later, on September 28th, NBA preseason games begin, and the Celts face off against the Charlotte Hornets at the Dean Smith Center, then head home for a rematch on the 30th. Boston then plays the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second home preseason home-away series on the 2nd of October, only to return the favor with the Cavs at the Q on the 6th of the same month.
Regular-season rosters must be finalized by October 15, three days after the last preseason games end, and the regular season begins the following day, with Boston facing the 76ers at home.

Don't hold your breath if you're a fan of confetti, as there's plenty of games to go (81 more, in fact), but it should be a fun early test of how well-integrated the team is after all the tumult of last season.

Most of you all won't much care, but I'l have a shot at some live NBA action in my neck of the woods (Mexico City) on December 13th and 15th, with the Orlando Magic taking on the Chicago Bulls and then the Utah Jazz, respectively.

After that, a lot of housekeeping dates come with the arrival of the new year; the most important of which being the NBA trade deadline, which comes earlier now, on February 7th. There's also the NBA London Game, featuring the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards this year (zzz).
The All-Star Game will be in Charlotte, North Carolina this year, from the 15th to 17th of February, and likely will be as loaded with Bostonian visages as any year in recent memory, perhaps as may as five (I'm going the under here, and guessing four).

March 1st will be the playoff eligibility waiver deadline, meaning all players who are to play on a playoff team must be signed to that team and have cleared waivers by this date. The regular season will end on April 10th, playoff rosters set by the 12th, and the NBA Playoffs themselves begin on the following day.

So, there you have it, folks - plan accordingly; we're almost there.

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Image: Brian Babineau/NBAE
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