The Cleveland Cavaliers' schedule was released last night and while we are still 76 days from from the Cavs' first game in Chicago, it's already beginning to feel like basketball season. It helps that while we are still months away, most every team has made their big offseason moves and adjustments and we can begin prognosticating the 2015-16 season.
When you begin making educated guesses about the season to come, you then start to pick games on the schedule to watch. For the Cavs, that means getting a look at fellow title contenders, and in my personal taste, a team the Cavs will be linked with as long as Kevin Love and Andrew Wiggins are around.
Here are 10 games you shouldn't miss next year, although I'd recommend watching all of them if you can. Except maybe the games against the 76ers. You can probably skip those.
1. December 1 vs. the Washington Wizards
Many think the Wizards will be one of the teams to push the Cavs in the East next year. By December, both teams should be humming and we should have a better idea of how the Cavs and Wizards matchup with one another. Plus, rivalry games are always fun.
2. January 14 at the San Antonio Spurs
This will mark the first time the Cavs and Spurs matchup during the 2015-16 season. It'll be interesting to see how these two teams match-up with the Spurs adding LaMarcus Aldridge in what could be a NBA Finals Preview. Plus, Kyrie Irving returns to the scene of his 57-point performance.
3. January 31 vs. the Los Angeles Clippers
LeBron crossing paths with Lance Stephenson is always interesting and it's even better with Stephenson on a Clippers team that should again be very, very good. Plus, we get Kyrie vs. Chris Paul and Love vs. Blake Griffin.
4. December 17 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant vs. LeBron, Russell Westbrook vs. Kyrie and
Kevin Love vs. Enes Kanter. AND DION WAITERS WILL BE BACK IN CLEVELAND. I'm setting the over/under on Waiters shot attempts at 22.5.
5. November 14 at the Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks might not be a title contender, but they figure to be one of the East's more intriguing teams. And in years past, the Bucks have made life tough for the Cavs at times. Depending on how things play out, this could be a playoff series come spring.
6. October 30 vs. the Miami Heat
Self-explanatory. It's Cavs-Heat in the Cavs' home opener and Miami figures to be one of the better teams in the East next year. It's perhaps too early to gauge just how good the Heat will ultimately be, but it should offer some clues.
7. November 21 vs. the Atlanta Hawks
It's an Eastern Conference Finals rematch, as the Cavs take on a Hawks team that underwent some changes this summer.
8. January 8 at the Minnesota Timberwolves
Let's check in on Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, shall we?
Disclaimer: Wiggins/Love debates are pointless at this point.
9. December 4 at the New Orleans Pelicans
It's the league's best player vs. the guy who is going to take that mantle in the very, very near future. In addition, the Pellies are coached by Alvin Gentry, the man who helped orchestrate the Warriors' title-winning offense. There's nothing to not like about this game.
10. December 25 at the Golden State Warriors
Finals rematch. Finals rematch. Finals rematch.
If only this game was in Cleveland.