The NBA released its 2014-2015 regular season schedule earlier today. Highlights of this season’s slate include an epic five-game showcase on Christmas Day highlighted by LeBron James’ return to Miami and week-long All-Star break. But there’s plenty of awesome basketball to be played before the league’s marquee day and midseason celebration, as evidenced by an opening month lineup that features must-watch games most every night of the calendar.
The regular season, unfortunately, doesn’t kick-off for another 10 weeks or so. We know that, and we’re just as disappointed as you are. But it’s never too early to start planning around your NBA addiction, which is why we’ve taken the liberty of choosing the best game on every night of the league’s opening month.
A few things to note before quitting jobs, breaking up with significant others, and sacrificing your livelihood by purchasing League Pass as a result of the list below: we hold no personal bias for or against any team; the chosen games were selected on pure instinct; national TV games are highlighted by the provider in bold; and we weren’t afraid to select two match-ups if their caliber dictated that measure, and we’ve included reasoning for doing so.
Without any further ado, your definitive watch guide to the first month of the 2014-2015 NBA season:
October 28: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs (TNT)
October 29: Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN)
October 30: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers/Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers (TNT)
- We didn’t know how to choose between LeBron’s first game – at home and against Carmelo Anthony, no less – back with the Cavs and another installment of the increasingly epic series between the Thunder and Clippers. Fortunately, you won’t have to; this is a Thursday night double-header on TNT.
October 31: Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls (ESPN)
November 1: Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder (League Pass)
November 2: Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers (League Pass)
November 3: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies (League Pass)
November 4: Houston Rockets at Miami Heat (League Pass)
November 5: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors (ESPN)
November 6: San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets/Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers (TNT)
- Each of these match-ups could be a potential playoff series in the wild Western Conference. While we’re excited to see how the depleted Rockets stack up against the champs, we’re just as thrilled to watch the amped-up Mavericks take on the Blazers at a surely raucous Rose Garden. You shan’t miss these.
November 7: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN)
November 8: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets (League Pass)
November 9: Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns (League Pass)
November 10: New Orleans Pelicans at Cleveland Cavaliers (League Pass)/San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers (NBATV)
- We hear you. “It’s the Pelicans! They’re playoff long-shots! Spurs-Clippers could be the Western Conference Finals!” You just want to watch LeBron!” Well, kind of. But we also want to watch LeBron on the same court as Anthony Davis, and see how Davis’ length and athleticism contrasts with Kevin Love’s power and skill. Spurs-Clippers will be fantastic basketball and likely competitive, but the night’s brightest fireworks could come earlier with Pelicans-Cavaliers. So why not both?
November 11: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors (League Pass)
November 12: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves (ESPN)
November 13: Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors (TNT)
November 14: Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks (League Pass)
November 15: Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers (League Pass)
November 16: Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA TV)
November 17: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Clippers (NBA TV)
November 18: New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks (League Pass)
November 19: San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers (ESPN)
November 20: Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat (TNT)
November 21: Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards (ESPN)
November 22: Brooklyn Nets at San Antonio Spurs (League Pass)
November 23: Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies (League Pass)/Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA TV)
- Another pair of potential first-round match-ups, Clippers-Grizzlies and Warriors-Thunder gave us some of the most hotly contested games of the 2013-2014 season. The physicality of the former is a perfect appetizer for the explosiveness of the latter, too. Expect to have your basketball appetite fully satiated on this awesome Saturday in late November.
November 24: Phoenix Suns at Toronto Raptors (League Pass)
November 25: Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat (League Pass)
November 26: Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers
November 27: No games (Thanksgiving)
November 28: Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers (League Pass)
November 29: New Orleans Hornets at Washington Wizards (League Pass)
November 30: Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets (League Pass)
Which October/November game are you most excited about?
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