Oct. 28- Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs/Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers
Whoever made the opening night schedule must have had a hot date for Oct. 28. Would it have been too much for an early Cavs litmus test vs. the Spurs?
Instead we’ll start the season off with a re-run of Golden Girls as Kobe, Nash, Nowitzki, Ginobili, Parker and Duncan square off on national television.
Why isn’t Chandler Parsons facing the Rockets? Not only did he lose Damian Lillard on the final play of his Rockets career, but he spurned them by pulling a Boozer special move and signing with the Mavericks.
Rockets and Lakers is essentially a support group for of teams spurned in free agency.
Oct. 30- New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron and Carmelo’s court rivalry never came to fruition, but on the scale they’ve both decided to see which superstar can show up with the slimmest figure. The Knicks are LeBron’s “Coming Home” scenario in the darkest timeline.
Five years ago, these Cavs are just the type of team that Phil Jackson would have been hired to coach over the championship hump.
October 31 – Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls
Obviously this is a meeting between two Eastern Conference contenders, but it also features a point guard sub-plot between Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving and Joakim Noah vs. the entire city of Cleveland.
Oct. 29 - Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards -
LeBron returns to torment the Washington Wizards while simultaneously providing hope that the city’s own basketball savior will return home.
Nov. 19 - Milwaukee Buck at Brooklyn Nets
If the Bucks pull out a victory, Kidd may stand on the the scorer’s table, pull out a champagne bottle and drench himself and only himself for winning the Jason Kidd Classic. How dare the Nets not give Kidd personnel responsibilities after one season as a head coach?
Nov. 19 – San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers
The two best general managers in the NBA R.C. Buford and LeBron James will face off with two entirely different rosters. The Cavs didn’t scour every corner of the globe as the Spurs do regularly, but they did search abroad for their head coach David Blatt.
Dec. 23 - Minnesota Timberwolves at Cleveland Cavaliers
I have no idea how the Cavs fans will react to Wiggins. Will they taunt him or show appreciation for th two months he was the future of the Cavs organization and that his sacrifice got them Kevin Love. It all depends on how well he’s adjusted to the NBA by then and if Love has established himself as a superstar on playoff roster for the first time in his career or faded into the background.
Dec. 25 Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat
This matchup will feature sub-plots Will Heat fans boo LeBron for bringing two rings to town? Will Pat Riley turn down the AC in the second quarter? Will Dan Le Batard take over the color commentary for one night?
Dec. 25 Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs
These two teams play in primetime and on national television so often that former head coach Bob Hill should join the broadcast booth to add a little twist. Hill’s not currently in broadcasting, but his outlook on this matchup could be enlightening. Hill was head coach of the San Antonio Spurs until general manager Gregg Popovich dismissed him after 62-win season.
Pop would continue losing until the Spurs secured the No. 1 overall pick in the ’97 NBA Draft.
Hill would bounce around until being named head coach of the Seattle Supersonics midway through the 2006 season. After the 2007 season, Hill was fired over the phone. Two months later, the Sonics drafted Kevin Durant. Hill has twice been ejected from the coaching seat right before kismet dropped two future MVPs into his franchise’s lap.
Jan. 3 - Miami Heat at Houston Rockets
I’m not sure who Rockets fans would have more of a grievance with between Chandler Parsons and Chris Bosh. Both took more to join lower quality rosters (as did Josh Smith last summer). Sounds like Houston fans should be upset at capitalism and the salary cap. However, Parsons was just a role player to most fans. Bosh could have put Houston over the hump in the West or at least on the precipice of a title.
April 12 - Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers will be windowshopping outside the playoffs display, but this will kick off Steve Nash’s final week as an NBA player. The Nowitzki Nash what ifs will swirl, but things could get emotional as the clock winds down in the fourth quarter and on Nash’s career.