While according to most sources, the entire NBA schedule for 2017-18 will be released on Monday, August 14 or Tuesday August 15, the NBA decided to provide a tasy appetizer to fans with the release of the national TV schedule for the opening week and the Christmas Day slate of games.
As you can expect(and as it should be) the opening week and Christmas Day games are chalk full of heavy hitters and title contenders.
Here is the national TV schedule for the opening week of the season (October 17 to October 20):
Celtics at Cavaliers | Oct. 17, 8 p.m., TNT
Rockets at Warriors | Oct. 17, 10:30 p.m., TNT
76ers at Wizards | Oct. 18, 7 p.m., ESPN
Timberwolves at Spurs | Oct. 18, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Knicks at Thunder | Oct. 19, 8 p.m., TNT
Clippers at Lakers | Oct. 19, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Cavaliers at Bucks | Oct. 20, 7 p.m., ESPN
Warriors at Pelicans | Oct. 20, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Here is the Christmas Day Schedule:
76ers at Knicks | 12 p.m., ESPN
Cavaliers at Warriors | 3 p.m., ABC
Wizards at Celtics | 5 p.m., ABC
Rockets at Thunder | 8 p.m., ABC
Timberwolves at Lakers | 10:30 p.m., TNT
Having an eastern conference finals rematch and a showdown between the defending champs and the revamped Rockets with Chris Paul seems like the perfect pair of games to kick off the 2017-18 season.
As you can see, three of the more exciting young teams in the NBA are clearly getting a lot more love on the national television schedule this season in the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers.
In spite of their constant struggles, the Knicks are still such a high-profile franchise that they get to host a Christmas Day game as per usual against the upstart 76ers.
For my money the most interesting match-up the opening week is the 76ers and Wizards to see the Embiid, Simmmons and Fultz trio for the first time and I have a feeling the most entertaining Christmas day game will be the Rockets and Thunder.
When the full schedule is released next week you can bet there will be plenty of Warriors, Cavaliers, Rockets, Celtics and Thunder games on the national TV schedule.