For the seventh time in eight years, the Cleveland Cavs will open the NBA regular season in front of their home crowd at Quickens Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. However, this year’s opener will be one of epic proportion. On Tuesday, Oct. 25th the Cavs will host the New York Knicks on National TV(TNT) at 8:00 PM. More notably than the actual game, the NBA will hold it’s momentous ring ceremony and banner raising. The Cavs organization and City of Cleveland will again get to revel in the glory of the 2016 NBA Championship during the profoundly anticipated on-court ceremony.
When all the eyes have dried, The Cavs embark on the arduous task of defending their title and repeating as NBA Champions. Here are some key notes upon first glance at the newly released 2016-17 Cavs Schedule.
The Cavs will play on Christmas Day for the 13th time in franchise history and in Cleveland for the first time since 2008 when they host the Golden State Warriors at the Q. It will be the first time the two teams will meet since the Cavs knocked of the Warriors in Game 7 of the Finals and the Warriors acquired one Kevin Durant. The two teams will face off again on MLK Day, Jan. 16th in Oakland.
The Cavs will play 10 of their first 14 games inside the friendly confines of the Q. Additionally, the Cavs have three-game home stands on six different occasions (Oct. 29-Nov. 3, Nov. 18-25, Dec. 9-13, Dec. 21-25, Jan. 25-29, March 31-April 4) and two-game home stands on four separate occasions (Nov. 13-15, Jan. 2-4, Jan. 19-21 and March 14-16).
The Cavs longest road trip of the season stretches six games over 11 days, ending in Oakland on Jan. 16th( MLK Day). They will make up for their home-heavy start during a span of games ranging from Feb. 4 through March 30th when they are the away team 17 times. They play 12 road games in the month of March alone.
Back-to-backs have become more significant in the modern NBA, as it has become common practice for key veterans to take either the front end or back end of the back-to-back off. The Cavs have employed this philosophy at times during each of the last two seasons and will do so again.
The Cavs play 18 sets of back-to-back games, including one home-home set (Dec. 9-10), six home-road sets (Nov. 15-16, Dec. 1-2, Dec. 13-14, Dec. 25-26, Jan. 29-30 and April 4-5), five road-home sets (Oct. 28-29, Dec. 20-21, Feb. 14-15, March 24-25 and March 30-31) and six road-road sets (Jan. 10-11, Feb. 8-9, March 3-4, March 11-12, March 18-19, April 9-10).
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Image via: Cavs.com