Aug 13, 2014, 6:44 PM EDT
It’s here. The NBA schedule is out.
There are 1,230 NBA regular season games each year total, we’re not going to list them all here. Like you’d read that anyway. Here are a few highlights to check out.
• The season starts Oct. 28 with a double-header on TNT. First Dallas goes to San Antonio and watches the Spurs raise banner No. 5. The second game is the Rockets at the Los Angeles Lakers, with the return of Kobe Bryant. It’s Dwight Howard back in Los Angeles and that’s still a draw (and a lot of boos in LA).
• LeBron James wanted to go home and that’s where he starts — the Cavaliers will open the season Oct. 30 at home hosting the New York Knicks. The Cavs second game is the Bulls on Halloween night.
• Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks open the season with a brutal back-to-back, hosting the return of Derrick Rose to the NBA on the 29th then facing the Cleveland on the 30th. Welcome to coaching in the NBA Derek Fisher.
• Fun opening week game on TNT — Clippers host the Thunder on Thursday night Oct. 30. Also on Oct. 31 the Cavaliers and Bulls face off in what should be the first of four regular season games between the top two teams in the East.
• The Lakers and Clippers play each other for the first time on Oct. 31.
• There is a third game on Oct. 28 not getting nationally broadcast, but it’s the start of the season for Anthony Davis and a real potential playoff team in the Pelicans, opening up at home against the Magic. By the end of the season Davis could be the third best player in the NBA.
• Christmas Day — the day most casual fans start watching the NBA — will feature five games. LeBron will make his return to Miami that day with a game between the Cavaliers and Heat, one of the ABC marquee games that day. The other ABC game features the Thunder at the Spurs. The day will open with the Wizards traveling to face the Knicks, it also will include Lakers at the Bulls, and it will close out with the Warriors going to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers.
• Both match ups between the defending champion Spurs and LeBron’s Cavaliers will be nationally televised: Nov. 19, on ESPN and March 12, on TNT.
• The battle between Manhattan and Brooklyn starts Nov. 7 when the Knicks travel to the Nets (and bring a lot of their fans with them).
• Kevin Love will make his return to be booed in Minnesota on Jan. 31. But I sure it will be polite booing.
• Andrew Wiggins reportedly will make his NBA debut Oct. 29 when the Timberwolves travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies.
• The NBA will play two regular season games overseas, both on Nov. 12 — the Rockets and Timberwolves in Mexico City, and the Knicks and Bucks (coached by Jason Kidd) in London.
• Martin Luther King Day will see four games: The Pistons at the Hawks, the Mavericks at the Grizzlies, he Bulls at the Cavaliers in a good one, and finally the Lakers at the Suns.
• The Nets and Raptors had a great playoff series last year, they face off in Toronto on Dec. 17.
• Want to watch LeBron put up a lot of points in Madison Square Garden? Dec. 4 the Cavs travel to the Knicks.
• Pau Gasol, the new Chicago Bull, makes his return to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers Jan. 29.
• On March 31 we get a Finals rematch of last year with the Spurs in Miami. That lacks a little luster now.
• To close out, we have this observation from John Schuhmann of NBA.com.
- Report: Chicago Bulls give Jimmy Butler max qualifying offer 17
- Report: Dwyane Wade will not opt-in with Heat, to become free agent (as expected) 25
- Report: Knicks front runner to land Arron Afflalo (and Greg Monroe, too) 27
- Report: Luol Deng surprises Miami, opts in for 2015-16 season 30
- Report: Sense around league is Kevin Love will re-sign with Cavaliers 31
- Report: As deadline nears, signs still point to Dwyane Wade opting out, becoming free agent 40
- Report: Dallas most likely team to lure DeAndre Jordan from Clippers, Chandler Parsons already recruiting 24
- Report: Lakers would still trade D’Angelo Russell for DeMarcus Cousins straight up. Kings wouldn’t. 30