The new NBA season brings a shift of focus with it, at least before it actually begins. The Cleveland Cavaliers, thanks to LeBron James joining them, will be the most televised team in front of a national audience, along with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls, each appearing 25 times before the entire country during the 82-game season.
The Cavaliers will open the season with a home game against the New York Knicks, before going on a road trip that includes playing in Chicago, Portland, Utah and Denver. LeBron James will have his first taste of the San Antonio Spurs on November 19 in Cleveland, while he’ll face the Indiana Pacers, sans Paul George, on November 29, also a home game.
The Chicago Bulls, hopefully with Derrick Rose for the entire season (or even most of it would be nice), open the season with a road game in New York, one of the features on the league’s opening night. They’ll have a brutal finish to November, playing seven consecutive road games, although the Bulls of last season were maybe even better playing on the road than at home, at least earlier in the season.
The Thunder have a rough start themselves, playing against Portland on the road to open the season, followed by a game against one of their most bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers. Their first taste of the Spurs should be the highlight of the Christmas day schedule, playing in San Antonio. Their first clash with Houston will be at home on November 16, while their first game against the Dallas Mavericks will occur on December 28, playing on the road.
The Chicago circus trip, the Spurs rodeo trip, the Clippers Grammy trip: Those are all part of the 2014-2015 schedule as well. There are other teams who’ll have some periods of playing just one home game in the span of four weeks thanks to the NBA scheduling. Obviously, everyone plays 41 at home and 41 away.
The Los Angeles Lakers open the season against the Houston Rockets at home, which will be Kobe Bryant’s return game. It is also a chance for Jeremy Lin to play against his former team, while their first game against the Clippers, their city rivals that beat them quite badly in most meetings last season, will be only three days later, in what will be counted as a Lakers home game.