Champ Spurs, LeBron, big All-Star break highlight NBA’s 2014-15 schedule

Tim Duncan and the Spurs will raise a fifth banner in October. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE)

Tim Duncan and the Spurs will raise a fifth banner in October. (Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE)

After a familiar in-state Texas wrestling match to tip things off, the champion San Antonio Spurs will be living out of their suitcases for much of the first couple of weeks of the new NBA season. That’s just one of the wrinkles in the  2014-15 schedule, released Wednesday.

The 1,230-game marathon includes, for the first time in history, an extended All-Star break.  The last games before the break are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 12, and the first ones after the hiatus won’t tip until Thursday, Feb. 19. The 64th NBA All-Star Game will be held Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and a Spurs cast that includes 10 international players will celebrate their title with the traditional banner raising and ring ceremony on Opening Night, Oct. 28, when they host the Dallas Mavericks at the AT&T Center.  Also on the schedule that night will be Orlando at New Orleans and Houston at the L.A. Lakers.  The Spurs-Mavs and Lakers-Rockets  — with the likely return of Kobe Bryant — will be nationally televised by TNT. (Full national TV schedule)

HANG TIME: The 10 (or so) must-see games of 2014-15

Opening Night
Oct. 28, 2014, Orlando at New Orleans, 8 p.m., League Pass
Oct. 28, 2014, Dallas at San Antonio, 8 p.m., TNT
Oct. 28, 2014, Houston at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m., TNT

Once they get through Opening Night, though, the Spurs — who finished with the league’s best road record last season — will be on the road for eight of their next 11 games.  Included in that is a four-game blitz through all four California teams, consisting of  a pair of back-to-back sets of Clippers-Warrior and Lakers-Kings.

Cleveland fans, ecstatic over the homecoming of LeBron James, will have to contain their excitement for a few days until the Cavaliers make their debut on Oct. 30 at Quicken Loans Arena against the New York Knicks. The Cavaliers will play the next night, too, at Chicago in Derrick Rose’s first home game after missing all but 10 games in the last two seasons because of knee injuries.  Rose will be joined in the Bulls lineup by Pau Gasol, who left the Lakers as a free agent over the summer.

The Spurs and Cavaliers will both be headline attractions in the NBA’s annual Christmas Day spectacular that features five different matchups, coast-to-coast.  San Antonio will be at home to face last season’s Western Conference finals opponent, Oklahoma City (2 p.m. ET, ABC). James will make his first trip back to Miami, where he won two titles in four years with the Heat, for an afternoon game (5 p.m. ET, ABC) against friends Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat.

Christmas Day (All times listed are ET)
Dec. 25, 2014, Washington at New York, 12 p.m., ESPN
Dec. 25, 2014, Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 2 p.m., ABC
Dec. 25, 2014, Cleveland at Miami, 5 p.m., ABC
Dec. 25, 2014, L.A. Lakers at Chicago, 8 p.m., TNT
Dec. 25, 2014, Golden State at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m., TNT

San Antonio once again will face its annual Rodeo Trip, so named because the Spurs must vacate their arena for an extended stretch for the San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo.  It’s a nine-game stretch that will keep the Spurs off their home court from Feb. 6 until March 4. It is broken into two legs before and after the All-Star break. But the Spurs aren’t the only team who face long stretches away from home.

The Brooklyn Nets, under new coach Lionel Hollins, will also straddle the break with eight consecutive games away from the Barclays Center. And the longest single road trip of the season belongs to the Clippers, who’ll have an eight-game excursion Jan. 29-Feb. 9 through three different times zones that includes three sets of back-to-backs and ends up  against potential playoff challengers at OKC and Dallas.  The Clippers will also have to endure a seven-game trip starting Nov. 19 at Orlando that includes three back-to-backs.  The Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings also have seven-game road trips.

As part of the NBA’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration, four games will be nationally televised.  The Detroit Pistons will play at Atlanta (2:30 ET, ESPN), followed by the Bulls at Cleveland (8 ET, TNT) and Lakers at Phoenix (10:30 ET, TNT).  The Mavericks at Memphis (5 ET) will be shown on NBA TV.

Martin Luther King Day (All times listed are ET)
Jan. 19, 2015, Minnesota at Charlotte, 2 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, Philadelphia at Washington, 2 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, Detroit at Atlanta, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Jan. 19, 2015, Boston at L.A. Clippers, 3:30 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, Denver at Golden State, 4 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, Dallas at Memphis, 5 p.m., NBA TV
Jan. 19, 2015, Indiana at Houston, 5:30 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, New Orleans at New York, 5:30 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, Toronto at Milwaukee, 8 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, Chicago at Cleveland, 8 p.m., TNT
Jan. 19, 2015, Sacramento at Portland, 10 p.m., League Pass
Jan. 19, 2015, L.A. Lakers at Phoenix, 10:30 p.m., TNT

The NBA Global Game schedule will again include two regular-season games played at international sites.  The Timberwolves will face the Rockets at Mexico City Arena on Nov. 12 and the Bucks and Knicks will meet at London’s O2 Arena on Jan. 15.

The teams with the toughest finishes to the season would seem to be Portland, Toronto and Washington. The Blazers wrap up their schedule with three of their last four on the road, including stops at potential playoff contenders Golden State, OKC and Dallas.  The Raptors play six of their last eight on the road. The Wizards have five of their last six away, with a finale at Cleveland.

The regular season concludes on April 15. The 2015 NBA playoffs will begin Apr. 18.

The Bulls, Cavaliers and Thunder lead with 25 appearances on TNT, ESPN and ABC national telecasts, followed by the Clippers with 23, the Lakers with 20 and the Spurs and Warriors with 19 apiece.

NBA TV will show every team as part of a 97-game schedule that includes 22 Fan Night Games.  Fans will vote on NBA.com  each week to determine which games will appear on NBA TV for the Tuesday Fan Night Games.

70 Comments

  1. timothyhoward says:

    Great schedule. I can’t wait for the 2014-15 season to start. let’s go.

  2. John Rada says:

    That Cleveland team,Irving .james,and love sounds tight lets all see what’s up

  3. John Rada says:

    The Knicks against Cleveland should be interesting to start things off

  4. Reporter: “So, Arian Foster, how do you think the NBA playoffs are going to turn out next season?”
    Arian Foster: “I’m just out here . . . working hard every day . . . to be the best teammate I can be.”

    Reporter: “Do you think Lebron can take the Cavs far this year?”
    AF: “I’m just working real hard to be the best teammate I can be.”

    Reporter: “Do you think the San Antonio Spurs are going to repeat?”
    AF: “It’s like I said . . . just out here . . . working every day to be the best teammate I can be.”

    Reporter: Uh, thanks. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream, Arian?”
    AF: You know, it’s all about the team. And I’m just out here – me and my teammates – working hard to be the best teammate I can be.”

  5. Matt says:

    No love for Dallas? Y’all straight buggin

  6. SAVAGE22 says:

    TEAMS LIKE THE PELICANS, PISTONS, JAZZ, AND 76ERS NEED MORE NATIONAL COVERAGE. ANTHONY DAVIS IS SPECTACULAR..THE 6ERS ARE UP AND COMING AND THE JAZZ AND PISTONS HAVE MADE ADDITIONS TO THEIR TEAMS WORTH WATCHING!

  7. Titus says:

    Im Ready!!!

  8. Matt says:

    It’s going be exciting seeing the Cavaliers going against the Heat at Christmas, How will the the Heat fans react to his return to Cleveland?! Will be interesting to see.

    Actually it would be even more exciting if the game would have been in Cleveland to see whether Cleveland’s fans will accept Lebron’s return. I’m sure they will eventually, but it’s gonna take some time to heal the wound that he left there but it’s definitely possible to gain their favor if he’ll bring the Cavs a title. I really wish him the best there.

  9. No people the #1 pick is gonna show why he was chosen as #1. Andrew wiggins is gonna be a star but it will take some time for the twolves to be back in the playoffs

  10. Eli David says:

    Nba 2015 playooffs be like round 1 spurs vs ock round 2 spurs vs clippers round 3 spurs vs cleveland

    • MR JAY says:

      lol ur silly, theres 4 rounds dude if u include finals.. and it looked like u tried to include finals..haha ur missing a round dude. and theres no way ur thinking the thunder will b the 8th seed in the west. thats the only way they would play the spurs try spurs vs dallas first round, second round houston vs spurs and lets go spurs vs okc in round 3 finals ur looking at spurs vs bulls

  11. harriethehawk says:

    What do you say KD? Wanna be part of my framily? Somebody call the doctor, cause I got a case of boogie fever! LOL

  12. mmmmmmm says:

    great playoff year, Who will be left out?

  13. prince jgm says:

    Pistons will be the dark horse look out NBA

  14. zLeIYAN09 says:

    If the BULLS go to the finals.. They will surely win… After all they are 6 of 6 when they are in the finals.. And no game 7…

  15. WIng Wang says:

    DENVER FTW

  16. TheAll-Star136 says:

    What if the Milwaukee Bucks win the championship (J Parker Finals MVP)?

  17. TheAll-Star136 says:

    Cavs will be title contenders (if there are no chemistry issues)
    Bulls will be title contenders (if D. Rose is healthy)
    Wizards, Hornets, and Raptors have a good chance to be in the Conference Finals
    Heat will for sure make the playoffs (don’t count them out yet)

  18. jnereid2014 says:

    Everybody talks about Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat
    making the final this year coming but this is my sleeper this year
    but watch out for the New York Knicks Phil Jackson had this team going in the right direction

  19. Kevin Durant says:

    OKC is winning the championship.

    NBA Final: OKC vs Bulls

    OKC in 5

  20. Chris says:

    Why the hell are the lakers even being considered for the national tv schedule. I thought that was for the top teams of the league. I bet if kobe bryant went to the euro league every game would be national played in the U.S. This is why I hate kobe bryant. Retire already and open up space on national televison for a top team that desearves it regulary……

    • NBAfan says:

      Big market in LA, and no matter what the Clippers do, the Lakers will always be THE team in LA.

      Christmas day games are the ones that really show who the top teams are I thought.

    • TEG says:

      I agree

    • TTKIN says:

      You hate Kobe cuz the NBA decides to play too many of his games on national TV. hahahaha sorry that got a good lol out of me.

  21. Magicfan says:

    Let’s GO MAGIC!!!, make a surprise push for 8th. Oladipo will be a suprise star in this league (I hope)

  22. RoyRanger says:

    EAST: Bulls, Cavs, Nets, Raptors, Wizards, Heat, Pistons, Hornets…Hawks/Knicks might make it…MIGHT
    WEST: OKC, Clippers, Spurs, Portland, Golden State, Mavs, Rockets, Lakers (with a healthy Kobe/Nash) unhealthy? it’s between Memphis and Phoenix
    2015 Champs…OKC

    • danzel johnson says:

      Lol seriously. Memphis lost gasol for a good number of games and fell back. They are a top 4 team any conference

  23. Omar says:

    How does the Lakers get more National TV games than the Spurs?!!

    • dd def says:

      really smart contracting.

    • TheAll-Star136 says:

      Lakers are in Los Angeles and the Spurs are in San Antonio.

    • TEG says:

      yeah, I wonder that too. and it’s bogus just because L.A.’s a bigger market, yes we all know. the Lakers however are going to stink again. they did drop a few national tv games from the Lakers last season so shall they actually do poor by the time 2015 hits, it’s possible Lakers might lose a couple or so again.

      • 36yrfan says:

        same ol’ , same ol’…………………..who wants to watch the BEST team anyway….it is better for Spurs fans, though….we don’t have to put up with the SORRY tnt and abc and espn announcers doin’ the game and can watch FSSW with folks who don’t dislike SA anyway…..

  24. Markus71 says:

    Maybe having Chris Paul on the Promo page would have been most fitting, rather than Carmello!?

  25. tremill says:

    Of course the cavs and heat are playing on xmas. Haha all about ratings.

  26. NorCal Warrior says:

    LET’S GO WARRIORS! IT’S OUR YEAR. STAY HEALTHY AND WE WILL SHOCK THE LEAGUE

  27. uncsig says:

    How pathetic that 6!! teams have as many or more national telecasts than the defending champs.

    • tremill says:

      Because they are boring to watch… nba is about rwting not good basketball or great in spurs case.

      • P-body says:

        Actually they are not boring! You must not have watched the finals, when as a team they shot 76% from the field for a half, while totally demoralizing the Heat with real team play. That is the most exciting basketball. Anyone who says they are boring is really just a boring person themselves who can’t appreciate the game of Basketball played the right way. The reason the NBA didn’t schedule a lot of regular season nationally televised games is because they know that Pop doesn’t play his stars for those games and plus they make those televised games up in the playoffs.

      • dd def says:

        why does everyone say the spurs are boring to watch? they’re friggin amazing and entertaining because of it. harlem globetrotters is what you’re looking for

      • sam30 says:

        Nothing more boring than seeing Carmelo jack up shot after shot. Or messy games where iso-ball doesn’t work. Spurs are great TV, I’ll watch them over most teams. This is coming from a Lakers fan of almost 20 years.

      • TEG says:

        P-body, I applaud your statement.

        tremill, I suggest you stop watching basketball if you think the Spurs are boring.

      • Basketball Fan says:

        @tremill
        Yeah, I also think that they are boring to watch. Maybe it’s their jersey color? Yeah, I think it’s their jersey. Whenever I watch them I feel like I’m watching the 50’s NBA… it’s all black and white. Haha.

      • D-rose MVP says:

        They look boring to watch because of 1 thing—— they always play perfect basketball under Popovich system. Sometimes they look like mechanical zombies playing mostly Same old players and playing the system every season.

      • 36yrfan says:

        ….so it is back to the old “They’re boring” garbage and the next season hasn’t even started !!! lol…..lol So you are sayin’ that you weren’t payin’ attention last year , so you just go back to the stuff that was(erroneously) said about the Spurs in the past…… but you forgot …’They’re Tooooooooo OLD” you are way too funny…. or probably just a lowly troll with nothing else to do…… lmao

  28. DeMar Derozan says:

    #WeTheNorth #NorthernUprising

  29. cem says:

    Agreed. How come theres no heat player pic in the first page pic? All the heat haters could not wait for this day.

  30. yesitsjamez says:

    if kobe scores 40 his first game back i swear

  31. james says:

    excited for christmas day!

    • NorCal Warrior says:

      Yup, Warriors & Clippers. Went to the game last season here at Roarcle. That was awesome!

  32. Chinoman says:

    man nba forgot Miami heat like they done. Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champions !

  33. #24 > #23 says:

    The NBA is back! I hope those Wiz and Rocks do well!