The NBA scheduled has not been released yet. It has been pushed back until August because of the moves in free agency. Which means the Cleveland Cavaliers will be on National Tv once again.
Opening night is usually the last Tuesday in October so expect the season to start on October 28th. The first game of the night has to be LeBron’s return to Cleveland. The league seems to like having LeBron face his rivals during opening night. Since 2008 LeBron has opened the season against the Celtics in 08-10, during the lockout the 1st game was played on Christmas day and he played against the Mavericks, in 2012 it was the Celtics again and last season it was the Bulls. Although he left Cleveland the rivalry against the Celtics and Bulls followed him. The Celtics are no longer good so I think the Cavaliers will open the season against the Bulls again.
If Donald Sterling is finally removed as owner of the Clippers I think they should play against the Thunder on opening night. If the Clippers situation is not resolved Kevin Durant and the Thunder should open against the defending champion Spurs. It would be great to have the two best players opening the start of the regular season. The 3rd game of the night is usually a non-televised game.
Throughout the year we see a lot of the same teams on National Television. The big market teams will be on a lot. I think the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks should be on National Tv some more. They are more exciting to watch then a bad Lakers team. Most people want to see the rookies play so we should see them on National Tv early on. I don’t expect the Bucks to be that good so I have no interest in watching them after the New Year. The rookies should be on TV early just in case they are on a bad team.
The Christmas games are a big deal for the NBA. Last season they were hit or miss. There were five games on Christmas last year. The Thunder vs Knicks was not close. Kobe Bryant missed the game against the Heat. Chicago beat up on Brooklyn. The Rockets and Spurs game was alright but it’s not a rivalry game. The Warriors and Clippers game was the last game of the night and it was very exciting.
This season the Christmas games should start off with the Raptors @ Knicks. I know it does not sound like a great matchup but the Raptors were in the playoffs last year and we get to see Carmelo and the Knicks. A matchup of the Bucks at the Nets is also a possibility with Jason Kidd making his return to Brooklyn. The 2:30 pm game should be Hornets @ Pacers, Lance returns to Indiana. The Hornets were a playoff team and I think this would be a good matchup. The 5:00 pm game might be the game of the night, LeBron James and the Cavs go to Miami to take on Dwyane Wade and the Heat. This would be the biggest story of the night.
The 8:00 pm game could be Bulls @ Lakers, Pau returns to Los Angeles. Hopefully Kobe will be healthy and the Lakers will be somewhat competitive. The last game of the night should be a rematch of a playoff series, Thunder @ Clippers. This would be a great way to cap a day full of basketball.
This is all speculation on my part but I am excited to see what teams will be on National Tv the most this season. What teams do you think will open the season or play on Christmas?