The NBA has released its schedule for the 2016-2017 regular season and it signals to everyone that it’s time to start shaping up for training camp and begin preparations for the new battles to come.
It’s already August but June still feels like yesterday with the championship euphoria surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers and its fans. But reality will surely kick in at some point as the beginning of the tougher task that is defending the title is getting nearer by the day. To boost everyone’s anticipation for the start of the new season, here are five of the biggest games that every Wine and Gold loyalists should look out.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers @ Indiana Pacers
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Another Central Division matchup has intensified with the Indiana Pacers being very aggressive this summer. Their starting lineup is undeniably among the best in the East, thanks to the addition of Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young, plus the expected improvement by Myles Turner. Paul George going up against LeBron James has always been a treat over the past few years, and the spirit of competition between these two superstars doesn’t appear to be going down even by a notch.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers @ New York Knicks
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
LeBron James almost always plays well at the Mecca of basketball. This time around, a whole new Knicks team will be giving him a rude welcome. Carmelo Anthony will enter the season with extra pride after solidifying his Olympic legacy. Kristaps Porzingis will always be a nightmare matchup to anyone. While the former Bulls in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah should still have some score to settle with their perennial tormentor in James. Fireworks should be expected on this night as the Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will surely look to dampen the spirit of New York.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The Bulls were supposed to go on a rebuild until Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo happened. What’s even more scarier for opposing teams is that these two accomplished stars have no problem deferring to Jimmy Butler. That sure is good news to Chicago hopefuls, but even if these three studs play well together, can the Bulls still keep up with the defending champions? LeBron James will surely relish the challenge from his buddy, Wade, and also Butler. This will be a very interesting matchup between two Central Divisions rivals.
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2. Cleveland Cavaliers @ San Antonio Spurs
Monday, March 27, 2017
The last meeting between these two powerhouse teams was held at the Quicken Loans Arena wherein the good guys handily beat the Spurs. But San Antonio is one of the toughest teams to beat on their home floor, making the contest an excellent barometer for the Cavs. Tim Duncan will be missed by the Spurs, but they’ll have Pau Gasol, who’s still very capable of putting up big numbers, up front teaming up with LaMarcus Aldridge. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see LeBron James get challenged and potentially get pushed to his playoff-self by Kawhi Leonard.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors
Sunday, December 25, 2016
It’s the much-awaited rematch of the historic finals showdown between these two teams. This time, what was already considered a star-studded cast has been bolstered by the addition of Kevin Durant. LeBron James is expected to go head-to-head against his 2012 Finals counterpart in Durant and Kyrie Irving will get to prove that he owns Stephen Curry’s number. The matchups don’t get any better than this one.