The schedules for the 2013-14 NBA season are expected to be announced on Tuesday, August 6th. That's tomorrow. And while we'll figure out who the Cleveland Cavaliers are playing and when soon enough, we still have some time to speculate.
So before the schedules are released, I have two questions for you.
Who do you THINK the Cavaliers will play their season opener against?
Who do you WANT the Cavaliers to play their season opener against?
I'll answer both of these questions for you fairly quickly. The first question, of course, is basically just a guess. There's no real way of knowing who the Cavs' first game will be against, but you can take an educated guess based on a few things. First, we know that the elite teams generally play against each other. The nationally televised games are likely to include two very good (or at least very popular) teams. Therefore it's more likely that the worse and/or less popular teams will play against each other to start the season. The Cavaliers unfortunately still qualify as part of this second group (although that may be changing as soon as next year).
Furthermore, we know that the Cavaliers play more games against the Eastern Conference than they do against the Western Conference. Statistically, it'd be foolish to predict that the Cavs will play a Western Conference team in any individual game.
So if we assume that the Cavs will likely be opening against a lower profile, Eastern Conference team, that means it'll be someone like the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, or Washington Wizards. If I had to guess (this part is basically random), I'd say that the Cavs will play the Bucks in their first game of the 2013-14 season.
The second question is more interesting and provides much more intrigue. Who do you WANT the Cavs to play against in their season opener? It's a matter of opinion and there's a number of matchups that would be intriguing. It'd be super cool to be playing against the Miami Heat and have the first game be on ESPN or TNT, but that's not going to happen.
If we lower our expectations a little bit, I think it'd be great to see the Cavs and Pelicans play each other in that first game. You'd have a matchup of two young, rebuilding teams that are expecting to make a big leap this season. The same could be said of a potential Cavs vs. Pistons season opener.
Despite the fact that you could pitch interesting story lines for almost any team, I think the best choice is Cavs vs. Wizards. I think it's the obvious pick for a number of reasons. You have John Wall vs. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters vs. Bradley Beal. Again, you have two rebuilding teams that are trying to bounce back into relevance this season and will likely be battling for a playoff spot down the stretch. Heck, some fans are probably even old enough to remember the days when the Cavs and Wizards had some sort of rivalry (remember DeShawn Stevenson?).
If I had my choice, the Cavs would be opening up against the Wizards at home to start the new season. And honestly, I think that has a pretty good chance of happening.
I'll give you a poll with some options, but definitely voice your opinion in the comments. Who do you want the Cavs to open their 2013-14 season against?