Spurs schedule features Ring Night, Christmas day game, 80 others
The NBA released schedules for all 30 NBA teams Wednesday, including the defending champion Spurs who will get their rings opening night before hosting the Dallas Mavericks. Other schedule highlights include a Christmas Day game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and a nine game rodeo road trip.
The Spurs and Mavs will kick off the NBA season Tuesday, October 28 at 7 p.m. Dallas, as you’ll likely remember, gave San Antonio their biggest test of the postseason when they took them to seven games in the first round. This team will have a different look as they welcome back Tyson Chandler, welcome for the first time Chandler Parsons. Oh yeah, we also get our first look at the results of Raymond Felton’s offseason regimen. Anyways, rivalry renewed, chance to make Mark Cuban squirm, blah, blah. This should be as fun an opening night as any of the ring nights the Spurs have been through.
A lot of fun games in November as well, none more than a Wednesday, November 19 trip to Cleveland to face LeBron James, (probably) Kevin Love and the Cavaliers. Ironically, the very next game is against the Timberwolves and (probably) first overall pick Andrew Wiggins. November also features the first west coast trip of the season, as the Spurs take on the Los Angeles Clippers (11/10), Golden State Warriors (11/11), Los Angeles Lakers (11/14) and Sacramento Kings (11/15).
December is highlighted by the Christmas Day game against the Thunder, which tips off at 1:30 from the AT&T Center. Opening presents is not an excuse to be fashionably late to this game. December is actually the busiest month for the Spurs, as they play 18 games in 31 days. That includes six sets of back to backs.
This is usually the “why the hell is this season so long” month and outside of a TNT matchup with the Chicago Bulls (1/22), I can’t say there’s a ton exciting about the first month of 2015, so let’s just move on to February. Nine of 11 games in February make up the Rodeo Road Trip. Before that, they do welcome the Eastern Conference champion Miami HEAT to town (2/6) for the two teams’ first regular season matchup since the Finals.
As far as the Rodeo Road Trip, well the Eastern Conference leg isn’t so bad. Three games against the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons starting on Sunday February 8. Then there’s a massive eight day lay off for the All-Star Break. The six game Western Conference trip is a bit of a beast. It starts with a back-to-back against the Clippers and Warriors, then they travel to Utah, then Portland, then a back-to-back against Sacramento and Phoenix to wrap things up. That’s a tough stretch.
The start of March is a bit kinder, a six game home stand against just one team that made the playoffs last season (Chicago). Spurs fans will also get their first in person look at the Cleveland Cavaliers (3/12). The end of March isn’t as kind as the beginning. Starting Sunday March 22, the Spurs play four games in six nights starting with the Atlanta Hawks. The Spurs then get a day off before a road/home back-to-back against the Thunder. The Spurs see the Mavs for the second time in a week, this time at home, just two days later. March finishes up in Miami (3/31) for the second Finals rematch.
The final two weeks of the season also isn’t very fun. Eight games, four each at home and on the road. That only involves one back-to-back, but the Spurs basically play every other night for stretch to end the season and it includes three game in four night stretch that starts against the Thunder and concludes with two games in a row against the Houston Rockets. The season wraps up Wednesday, April 15 in New Orleans against MVP dark horse Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Overall, the Spurs have 21 back-to-backs this season and 19 nationally televised games, not counting the handful they’ll pick up courtesy of NBA TV’s Fan Night (aka Nerd Night). So roughly a quarter of their games will be on the national stage. You are not allowed to complain about them being ignored. I know it’s early, but you’re definitely looking for my prediction. Of course I’m going with 82-0.