With the 2023-24 NBA season fast approaching, it’s that time again for us to peruse the NBA schedule for potential basketball road trip ideas.
This season brings some interesting storylines, from the introduction of the in-season tournament to the Denver Nuggets entering their first-ever season as defending champions.
As you might know, we create road trip idea posts on an annual basis for the NBA and for the other major sports leagues.
If this is your first time reading one of these posts, here are the ground rules under which we work to devise these trips (though we will bend or break a rule from time to time if the game or travel opportunity is just too good):
- We looked to pack as many games into as small a timeframe as possible, at least considering typical travel times by car (we won’t suggest you travel cross-country for games on back-to-back days, for instance).
- We try to look only at trips where you’re traveling in the same general direction as you go from city to city (so no zig-zagging around).
- We tried to limit the number of times you see a particular team to twice (admittedly difficult, as many times it’s easier to plan a trip through a region because a certain team is on a road swing through it).
- And we looked only at minimum four-city trips, because longer trips are always more fun.
We find that basketball in particular presents a challenge because of the number of cities whose only major sports team is an NBA franchise. This makes the geographical landscape look a lot different than other leagues.
Let’s look at some of the road trip ideas that the 2023-24 NBA schedule presents. And don’t forget that you can buy NBA game tickets on Ticketmaster.
Top photo credit: Leonardo Neumann Ciuffo / Flickr
1) A banner-raising and more
Tuesday, Oct. 24: Lakers at Nuggets
Wednesday, Oct. 25: Kings at Jazz
Friday, Oct. 27: Warriors at Kings
Sunday, Oct. 29: Spurs at Clippers
Monday, Oct. 30: Magic at Lakers
If you can’t wait to get going on your NBA road-tripping, you can start on opening night. That’s when the Nuggets will host the Lakers and raise their banner from last season’s championship.
From there, make the eight-hour trek to Salt Lake City to catch the Jazz’s home opener at the newly renamed Delta Center. Then, head to California for stops at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center and L.A.’s Crypto.com Arena, where you can see both the Clippers and Lakers in action.
2) Early East Coast swing
Saturday, Nov. 11: Raptors at Celtics
Sunday, Nov. 12: Hornets at Knicks AND/OR Wizards at Nets
Tuesday, Nov. 14: Pacers at 76ers
Wednesday, Nov. 15: Mavericks at Wizards
Here’s an interesting NBA road trip through the Northeast that will require you to make a little decision. After starting off in Boston to see the Celtics at TD Garden, head to New York City for a chance to see two games: Hornets-Knicks at Madison Square Garden at noon Eastern, or Wizards-Nets at Barclays Center at 3 p.m. (It certainly is possible to watch both games with a subway trip in between, but you’ll likely have to miss a portion of one or both.)
3) The post-tournament Texas trek
Monday, Dec. 11: Jazz at Thunder
Tuesday, Dec. 12: Lakers at Mavericks
Wednesday, Dec. 13: Grizzlies at Rockets
Friday, Dec. 15: Lakers at Spurs
The NBA’s first-ever in-season tournament concludes on Dec. 9, and the regular season picks back up two days later. Join the restart in Oklahoma City, where the Thunder will take on the Jazz at Paycom Center.
4) The post-holiday hoops haul
Sunday, Jan. 7: Spurs at Cavaliers
Monday, Jan. 8: Celtics at Pacers
Tuesday, Jan. 9: Kings at Pistons
Wednesday, Jan. 10: Rockets at Bulls
Thursday, Jan. 11: Celtics at Bucks
Friday, Jan. 12: Trail Blazers at Timberwolves
We packed six different NBA stops into this Midwest mega-road trip, starting with a visit to Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Head west from there, stopping at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, United Center in Chicago, Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee and, finally, Target Center in Minneapolis. Yes, that’s a lot of ground covered!
5) The Southern swing
Wednesday, Feb. 7: Spurs at Heat
Thursday, Feb. 8: Spurs at Magic
Saturday, Feb. 10: Rockets at Hawks
Monday, Feb. 12: Pacers at Hornets
It might be Super Bowl week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend it chasing NBA arena visits. This NBA road trip will take you to the Southeast, starting at Miami’s Kaseya Center to see the defending Eastern Conference champs.
Head north from there and watch games at Amway Center in Orlando, State Farm Arena in Atlanta and Spectrum Center in Charlotte. There are days off between stops 2-3 and 3-4, so there’s time to visit Disney World and find a good spot to watch the big football game.
6) The NBA road trip leap
Thursday, Feb. 29: Rockets at Suns
Friday, March 1: Wizards at Clippers
Saturday, March 2: Rockets at Lakers
Monday, March 4: Bulls at Kings
Wednesday, March 6: Bucks at Warriors
Head to the West Coast for this trip that begins on Leap Day, with the Suns hosting the Rockets at Footprint Center. Then, see home games for all four California teams, with the Clippers and Lakers each playing games at Crypto.com Arena, the Kings at Golden 1 Center and the Warriors at Chase Center.
Note that it’s the Clippers’ final season sharing an arena with the Lakers, as they’re set to open a new venue in suburban Inglewood, across the street from SoFi Stadium, in the fall of 2024.
7) The season-ending run
Tuesday, April 9: Pistons at 76ers
Wednesday, April 10: Raptors at Nets
Friday, April 12: Nets at Knicks
Sunday, April 14: Wizards at Celtics
As the NBA regular season comes to a close, head to the East Coast for this road trip to see four potential Atlantic Division contenders duke it out. Philadelphia is your first stop, to see the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
Then, spend a few days in New York, seeing the Nets at Barclays Center before taking in an intracity showdown at Madison Square Garden. Finally, finish the regular season in Boston with a Celtics game at TD Garden.
Whether you decide to do one of the journeys above or craft your own itinerary, we’d love to hear about your NBA road trip ideas! Leave a comment for us below or email us with your own ideas.