The league has released its schedule for the 2015-2016 season and a finals rematch will be highlight of its five-day Christmas lineup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visiting Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors in Oakland.
As the National Basketball Association defending champions, a lot of attention will be given to the Golden State Warriors as they try to make a repeat performance of previous year.
It’s a smarter, more efficient schedule that has resulted in a lower number of weekend games, but should help the league overall with an image problem it suffers when the best players are absent.
When they face off against the Miami Heat on December 25, the Pelicans will be playing for the first time on Christmas Day since 2008-2009. Golden State has lost 32-straight regular-season games at San Antonio, and the team will have two chances to break the infamous streak (its second road game against the Spurs is the penultimate game of the season on April 10).
To finish out the night, we get a crosstown matchup as the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers tango for the L.A. crown. The Pelicans then return home to finish the back-to-back schedule with games on the 8 and 9 against the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.
The Warriors will make their first appearance in Cleveland on January 18 at 5 p.m. PST on TNT for their MLK Holiday schedule. On paper, these are possibly the two best teams in the East, and they could end up meeting in the Eastern Conference Finals if both squads can stay healthy. Detroit at Atlanta and Cleveland at Chicago precede Golden State’s banner-raising night, on TNT. At the very least, limiting instances in which teams plays multiple games in short periods of time can only hurt if coaches use it as an excuse to push minute totals to their limits, although that plan is arguably a relic of the past practiced by a handful of people at most.
Four games in five days have been reduced to. And to top it off, their last four games are two each against San Antonio and Memphis.
ESPN.com lists the Nets point guard depth chart with veteran Jarrett Jack, who has usually found his niche coming off the bench, starting as he is backed up by former Knick backup Shane Larkin and Donald Sloan, who will be playing for his fifth different team in five years.
Long-distance back-to-backs have been trimmed from 111 last season to 84 this season; back-to-backs that cross a time zone have also been cut from 194 last season to 160 this season.
Recently Nets play-by-play man Ian Eagle told Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com, “I wouldn’t be shocked if he came off the bench this year”, Eagle said.