With the 2016-17 NBA schedule recently released, we at Fear The Sword have been taking a look at different aspects of the defending champs’ schedule. Last season, the Cavaliers had three homestands of 4 games and one homestand of 5 games. For whatever reason, the team only has one four-game homestand this season, which will be their longest consecutive run of games at Quicken Loans Arena for the entirety of the 2016-17 NBA season. This stand, which starts on Wednesday, February 15th and goes through Monday, February 27th is also interrupted by the All-Star Game on Sunday, February 19th which will most likely take place in New Orleans.
The four-game homestand starts on the 15th of February with the Indiana Pacers making their first trip of the season to the Q. The Cavaliers will already have played the Pacers twice in Indiana by this point, so they’ll be familiar with the new look Pacers, who fired long time Head Coach Frank Vogel this past offseason and replaced him with Vogel’s top assistant and former head man for the Seattle Supersonics and Portland Trailblazers, Nate McMillan. Team President Larry Bird wants to play more of a spread style, push the pace offense this season and these should be fun match-ups vs. Paul George and company. This game vs. the Pacers will be nationally televised on ESPN.
After battling the Pacers, the Cavaliers will have eight days off for the All-Star game and break and re-start the homestand on Thursday, February 23rd with the New York Knicks coming to town for their second visit of the season. The Knicks were a doormat last year but should be improved this upcoming season. If former Bulls and current Knicks Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose are actually still healthy, this could be a fun matchup. This game vs. the Knicks will be nationally televised on TNT.
The Cavaliers will then get Friday off before hosting Noah and Rose’s former squad, the Chicago Bulls, on the night of Saturday, February 25th. This will be the Bulls second visit of the season to Cleveland. The third game of the Cavaliers homestand will be an 8:30 P.M. tip-off, part of ABC’s Saturday Night Basketball that they started last year. The Bulls had an interesting offseason, losing Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah while adding Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo and Robin Lopez. It remains to be seen whether the combination of Wade, Rondo and Jimmy Butler will be able to work together or their lack of spacing will ultimately doom them and whether the three are still starting together by February will be something to watch for.
The final matchup of the Cavaliers 4-game homestand will see the upstart Milwaukee Bucks battle the Cavaliers for the fourth and final matchup of the 2016-17 season on Monday, February 27th. Former Cavalier and NBA Champion Matthew Dellavedova will be making his second trip to Cleveland as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, along with young studs Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo. This is the only game of the four that won’t be broadcast on national television.