The NBA schedule is out for next season.
There are 1230 games over the course of an NBA season, and technically they all count the same. However, some you want to make sure you watch more than others. Here are a few highlights from this season’s schedule.
Opening night, Oct. 25: New York at Cleveland. Carmelo Anthony and crew get to watch LeBron James hoist the first championship banner to go up in Cleveland in 52 years.
Opening night, Oct. 25: San Antonio at Golden State. The other opening night game is Kevin Durant’s first official one in Warriors uniform. These are likely the two top teams in the West next season, and both come in with different looks (Tim Duncan is out, and Pau Gasol is in for the Spurs).
Oct. 27: Boston at Chicago. Al Horford in a Celtics uniform vs. Dwyane Wade in a Bulls uniform.
Oct. 27: San Antonio at Sacramento. The Spurs will be in town for the Kings’ first regular season home game in their new arena.
Oct. 28: Cleveland at Toronto. A rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the Raptors trying to prove last season’s playoff success was no fluke.
Nov. 3: Oklahoma City at Golden State. The first time Durant takes on Russell Westbrook and the rest of his former team.
Nov. 10: Chicago at Miami. Wade returns to South Beach wearing a Bulls uniform. Expect Heat fans to boo him, after they show up in the second quarter.
Dec. 9: Toronto at Boston. These may well be the second and third best teams in the East (Indiana might have something to say about that), and all their meetings should be interesting.
Dec. 25, Christmas Day: This is the NBA’s unofficial second opening night, and they have stacked it with the biggest names and brands. The games in order are:
Boston at New York
Golden State at Cleveland
Chicago at San Antonio
Minnesota at Oklahoma City
L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers
Jan. 13, Boston at Atlanta. It’s almost halfway through the season before Horford makes his return to Atlanta wearing Celtics’ green.
Jan. 16, MLK Day: This is one of the NBA’s other big holidays, and they lined up four quality games:
Atlanta at New York
New Orleans at Indiana
Cleveland at Golden State
Oklahoma City at L.A. Clippers
Jan. 19: Minnesota at L.A. Clippers. The Timberwolves are one of the up-and-coming teams in the West. The Clippers are a team trying one more time to win with a lineup that hasn’t gotten out of the second round. This is an excellent mid-season measuring stick for both.
Feb 11: Golden State at Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant returns to OKC wearing a Warriors uniform and playing the villain.
March 11: Golden State at San Antonio. These still are likely the two top teams in the West, and they face off late in the season.
April 12: The final night of the NBA season, and a few of these matchups could have playoff implications.
Detroit at Orlando
Toronto at Cleveland
Milwaukee at Boston
Dallas at Memphis
Minnesota at Houston
San Antonio at Utah
New Orleans at Portland