Warriors battle former ally on NBA 2015-16 opener
Golden State’s title retention bid will begin with a familiar foe and a former ally.
After numerous leaks, the NBA released its full 82-game schedule for the 2015-16 season on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) to announce its kick off on October 27.
Festivities will open with 2015 NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the rest of the Warriors getting their championship rings before hosting Anthony Davis and first-round playoff opponent New Orleans, which will have former Golden State assistant coach Alvin Gentry as head tactician.
Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will also pay a visit to the retooled Chicago Bulls, now with coach Fred Hoiberg at the helm, to start the season. The duel between Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons will complete the three-game opening day schedule.
The following day, 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant will make his return to the parquet floor after numerous foot surgeries as the Oklahoma City Thunder open their season against the San Antonio Spurs, which will feature Lamarcus Aldridge.
November 11 will also be a much-awaited game day, as it features Deandre Jordan visiting Dallas and the Clippers squaring off with the Mavericks for the first time after the aborted deal between the 6-foot-11 center and the Mark Cuban-owned squad.
It will also mark the return of Aldridge to Portland as the Spurs go up against the rebuilding Trail Blazers.
Five Christmas games are slated, beginning with the Pelicans versus the Miami Heat, followed by the game between the Bulls and the Thunder, and a rematch of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cavaliers. Wrapping up the list will be the Texas showdown with the Spurs and the Houston Rockets, and the Clippers facing the Lakers in the battle for Los Angeles.
The league has also tinkered the schedule to reduce four games-in-five nights and back-to-backs as national TV outfits waived their exclusivity rights on certain nights, enabling more teams to play on specific days such as Thursday (regularly a TNT-exclusive day) and Saturday (an ABC-exclusive day).
The All-Star break will remain a week-long reprieve, with Toronto serving as hosts from February 12 to 14.