CanCon

2021-22 NBA schedule: Highlighting must-see matchups between Canadian stars

The 2021-22 NBA schedule is here, and the league's 75th season is chock full of matchups and meetings you don't want to miss.

2021-22 NBA SCHEDULE: Opening Week | Christmas Day | MLK Day

Again, Canada will be the second most represented country in the league after the United States, with over 20 Canadian stars representing several NBA teams. It's yet another feat that highlights the growth of the game in Canada, meaning any time these Canadians go head-to-head, it's an appointment watch.

What are some of the biggest games between Canadians in the 2021-22 NBA season? Below, find a list of some of the most notable head-to-head matchups.

Note: Potential matchups featuring Denver Nuggets star guard Jamal Murray are omitted given his ongoing rehab of a torn ACL suffered on April 12, 2021.

Oct. 23: Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors

During opening week of the 2021-22 season, Mavericks big man Dwight Powell returns home to Toronto, where he will face off against two of Canada's premier bigs in Khem Birch and Chris Boucher.

The last time Boucher took the floor against the Mavs, he led the Raptors to an impressive early-season victory with a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Oct. 28: Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors

Postseason rematches always mean a little extra.

The Grizzlies head to The Bay early on in the season in a rematch of an instantly classic Play-In game. Memphis' Canadian duo of Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke square off against Golden State's duo of Andrew Wiggins and Mychal Mulder.

Brooks flexed his defensive muscle last year and will look to do so again with hopes of slowing down honourary Canadian Stephen Curry, who spent time growing up in Toronto when his father, Dell, played for the Raptors.

Oct. 31: Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks

Some more love for the bigs.

For now, Tristan Thompson is a member of Sacramento's frontcourt and on Halloween, the center will go head-to-head with Powell, Dallas' interior anchor. This one might not grab the headlines, but it'll be a fun one to watch.

Nov. 1: Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NBA playing its first-ever game - held in Toronto no less - the Knicks will host the Raptors.

RJ Barrett, who looks to make another leap in Year 3, faces off against Birch, Boucher and Raptors rookie Dalano Banton on a night that will highlight Canada's importance to the NBA game. Barrett is also building a habit of making big plays against his hometown team.

Nov. 7: San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder

Joshua Primo, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is set to go head-to-head with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Primo, a 6-foot-6 guard from Toronto, showed some impressive flashes as a smooth scoring guard during summer league.

It's hard not to get excited as he meets another smooth 6-foot-6 scoring guard in Gilgeous-Alexander, who is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-best 23.7 points per game. And you can't forget Luguentz Dort, who is sure to stifle the young Primo with his defensive abilities.

Nov. 10: Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans

It's always a family affair when Gilgeous-Alexander meets his cousin, Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

This year, offseason moves made by the Pelicans will likely mean that Alexander-Walker's third season will come with an increased role as a potential full-time starter. It's not often you see cousins starting across from one another in the league, that they're each proud Canadians makes this matchup even more intriguing.

Nov. 13: Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors

Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six Canadians could take the floor in this one.

This offseason, Detroit brought in free agents Trey Lyles and Kelly Olynyk and re-signed Cory Joseph. The Pistons' figure of three Canadians is matched by the Raptors, who have Banton, Birch and Boucher on their roster.

It's only right that this one is set to take place in Toronto.

Nov. 13: Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans

Not only are the Grizzlies and Pelicans two of the youngest, most exciting teams in the league, but they each feature Canadians at the forefront of their respective youth movements.

As mentioned above, Alexander-Walker will take the floor in an expanded role for New Orleans, while Memphis leans on the duo of Brooks and Clarke. An added element to this matchup is the big man battle between former Raptor center Jonas Valanciunas and Steven Adams, who were traded for one another this offseason.

Dec. 7: New York Knicks at San Antonio Spurs

Canada's two most recent lottery picks are the focus here.

Primo, who is also the youngest player in the league this season, will share the floor with Barrett, who is two-and-a-half years his senior. The next generation of Canadian stars in the NBA is deep, and these are two of the youngest that each has the potential to shine brightest.

Dec. 14: Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks

While Canada battled to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Barrett and Wiggins were the program's two biggest stars that led the way.

Anytime the former No. 1 overall pick takes on the former No. 3 overall pick, it's must-see TV. One of the league's five marquee Classic Matchups of the 2021-22 season, Barrett and Wiggins are two feature wings on two of the league's charter franchises.

With both Golden State and New York having big aspirations this year, this meeting should deliver on multiple levels.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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