Though the NBA season doesn’t tip off until October 25, the hype is already fully under way. With Thursday’s official release of the 2016-17 regular-season schedule, that excitement is now taking the form of circled dates on the NBA calendar in big, splotchy marker. The release of the schedule also means we can start getting even more amped for next season, which feels way too far away still.
The biggest day on the NBA’s schedule, of course, is Christmas Day. The league did not hold back by making that day a huge, huge deal, as there are a number of games that will keep you captivated while you’re celebrating the holiday.
Per usual, the marquee game is the NBA Finals rematch, which will take place in Cleveland this year when the Cavs host the Warriors on Christmas Day. Here’s who else will be playing on December 25:
Opening night is also a big deal, and it looks like Banana Boat brothers LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will face off in Cleveland, followed by the Blazers hosting every basketball bloggers favorite dark horse pick this year, the Jazz. The late game will be the Warriors hosting the Spurs:
However, most important for the common fan is of course which games commissioner Adam Silver — along with team owners, and the gang of media giants who act as the cooks in this schedule’s kitchen — has deemed important enough for national television broadcast.
These decisions play a huge role in which young players ascend to stardom and become names known even by casual fans after garnering shoe deals and commercial appearances.