The NBA schedule for 2015-16 season was released on Wednesday night and will include five Christmas Day matchups for fans to enjoy for the holiday. They’ll include a spotlight rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals as the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Also of note, emerging superstar Anthony Davis will get 13 appearances on television and several other matchups will bring key free agents this offseason to teams they used to play for, or nearly played for.
According to ESPN.com in their Aug. 12 report, the NBA season will officially tip off with games played on Oct. 27 including the Chicago Bulls hosting the Cleveland Cavs and the San Antonio Spurs visiting the Portland Trailblazers. That will be the first trip for new Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge to his former team, the Trailblazers. Kevin Durant, who was injured for a good portion of the 2015 season, will be expected to begin his new season the next night, as Oklahoma City will host the Spurs.
On Oct. 29 arrives the first time Los Angeles Clippers and their star center DeAndre Jordan will play the Dallas Mavericks. Many fans will remember that Jordan seemed all but signed to the Mavericks but then chose to return to the Clippers. On Oct. 30, LeBron James and the Cavs will host Dwyane Wade and the Heat for their first meeting of the season.
The Vegas Insider site reported on Aug. 12 that there will be just 27 instances where teams play four games in five nights. Back-to-back games were also cut down, as no team will have more than 18 instances of those. This certainly could make a more “player friendly” schedule as the NBA tries to cut down on major players getting hurt over the course of the season.
The Christmas Day schedule provides a total of five games spread across different networks for NBA fans to watch. Among them will be the Warriors hosting the Cavs for the first time since winning the 2015 NBA Championship. Also on the schedule for Dec. 25 will be New Orleans at Miami at noon EST, Chicago at Oklahoma City at 2:30 p.m. EST, San Antonio at Houston at 8 p.m. EST and the Clippers vs. Lakers at 10:30 p.m. EST. It’s been noted that the New York Knicks, who have played in 50 Christmas games since the 1947 season, will have this day off.
Current future odds have the Cavaliers as 5 to 2 favorites to win the NBA title in 2015-16. The Spurs are next with odds of 19 to 5, followed by Golden State at 13 to 2 and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 17 to 2. The Clippers are 12 to 1 favorites while the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets are both 22 to 1 favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2016. The biggest long shots include the Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers, both of whom have odds of 350 to 1.