clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A month-by-month breakdown of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ schedule

The Cavs will face the Knicks twice early on as they seek redemption this season.

NBA: Playoffs-New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The schedule for the upcoming NBA season has been revealed and the analysis of road trips, nationally televised games, and back-to-backs has already begun. The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off a slightly disappointing postseason after an excellent regular season, and the pressure to improve is at its apex point. Let’s do a month-by-month breakdown of the Cavs schedule, which kicks off Oct. 25 in Brooklyn. B2B, by the way, stands for back-to-back.

October 2023: at Brooklyn, vs. Oklahoma City, vs. Indiana (B2B), vs. New York

The Cavs start off the season with some intriguing matchups and their first back-to-back. The season-opener against the Nets will be a fun watch, especially with Mikal Bridges continuing to develop as the leading man. Oklahoma City will be dangerous lead by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, plus an early look at former lottery pick Chet Holmgren against the Cavs’ bigs. The back-to-back against a revamped Pacers squad seems like a trap game, especially considering Indiana is no pushover after adding Jarace Walker and champion Bruce Brown.

But these games pale in comparison to the spooky Halloween night matchup at home against the New York Knicks. Who, of course, eliminated the Cavs in a gentleman’s sweep last season. The Knicks gave the Cavs fits the previous spring, so hopefully, Cleveland comes out with a chip on its shoulder in their first statement game of the season.

November 2023: at New York (B2B), at Indiana (In-Season Tournament Game), vs. Golden State, at Oklahoma City, at Golden State, at Sacramento, at Portland, vs. Detroit (In-Season Tournament Game), vs. Denver, at Philadelphia (In-Season Tournament Game), vs Miami (B2B), vs Los Angeles Lakers, vs Toronto (B2B), vs. Atlanta (In-Season Tournament Game), vs. Portland

November begins the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament, starting with Group Play. The Cavs will get Detroit and Atlanta at home for the initial round and Philadelphia and Indiana on the road. Depending on how the Sixers look, potentially without James Harden as his trade situation plods along, the Cavs could have a good shot at a 3-1 or 4-0 record in those games. Other games of note include the Knicks on the road the night after the Halloween bout, the old but fine-like-wine Golden State Warriors at home, welcoming the World Champion Denver Nuggets to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, and of course, LeBron James and the Lakers coming to town Thanksgiving weekend. This month features a trip out West against playoff teams in the Kings and Warriors, though the Portland Trail Blazers remain a wild card while Damian Lillard remains in trade limbo. Ditto for the Miami Heat, Lilliard’s preferred trade destination.

Overall, the Cavs will play 11 of their 15 games this month against playoff teams last season and have two back-to-backs against Miami and Toronto (another potential trap game). There may be a lot learned from this team during the month of November.

December 2023: at Detroit, at Orlando, at Boston (B2B), at Boston, vs. Atlanta, vs. Houston, vs. Utah, vs. New Orleans (B2B), at Chicago, at Dallas, vs. Milwaukee

The Cavs once again do not have a Christmas Day game, but they do have some intriguing matchups in the month of December. A strange away-away stretch against the Boston Celtics will be a test, as it was last season. The Cavs eked out two wins in overtime last season against the Celtics, one of which required a monster game from Caris LeVert.

Cleveland will also see each of the Thompson twins, Ausar and Amen, in games against the Pistons and Rockets respectively. Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen will also return to Cleveland with the Utah Jazz. The month finishes with tough games on the road at Dallas (with a re-signed Kyrie Irving) and the revamped Milwaukee Bucks, who are more desperate now than ever before to get back to championship form with Giannis Antetokounmpo. The gap in-between Detroit and Orlando is to clear the way for the second round of the In-Season Tournament. Overall, December features only six games against playoff teams from last season, though there are two more back-to-back games (Boston on the road and New Orleans at home). A little more forgiving.

January 2024: at Toronto, vs. Washington, vs. Washington, vs. San Antonio, vs. Brooklyn in Paris, vs. Chicago, Milwaukee, at Atlanta, at Orlando, at Milwaukee, at Milwaukee, vs. Los Angeles Clippers, vs. Detroit

January starts out a little soft against the Raptors, Wizards and Spurs which should give the Cavs an easier stretch before having to go up against Milwaukee three times in a five-game span. Perhaps the most compelling game though will be Jan. 7 against the visiting Spurs and Victor Wembanyama, who should really test the Cavs’ bigs. San Antonio likely won’t be a playoff team, but Wembanyama is maybe the most intriguing prospect since James two decades ago. The games against the Bucks should once again be good tests for the Cavs, and there are no back-to-backs this month either.

February 2024: at Memphis, at San Antonio, vs. Sacramento, at Washington, at Brooklyn (B2B), at Toronto, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Chicago, vs. Orlando, at Philadelphia (B2B), at Washington, vs. Dallas, at Chicago (B2B)

The highlights are once again against the Spurs and Wembanyama, at home against the Sixers, and Irving’s return to Cleveland with the Mavericks. There are two back-to-backs this month, including one of those unfortunately against the Sixers.

Once again, though, this is a softer month overall. Games against the Magic, Raptors, Wizards, and Bulls twice give the Cavs some cushion. Donovan Mitchell will likely love the home game on Valentine’s Day against Chicago, the team he dropped 71 points on last season.

March 2024: at Detroit, vs. New York, vs. Boston, at Atlanta, vs. Minnesota, vs. Brooklyn, vs. Phoenix (B2B), at New Orleans, at Houston, at Indiana, vs. Miami, at Minnesota, at Miami, vs. Charlotte (B2B), at Charlotte, vs Philadelphia, at Denver

Boy, March is not going to be an easy month. The Cavs get Atlanta on a back-to-back, which already feels like a scheduled loss, and then the juggernaut Suns on a back-to-back five days later. That is a brutal stretch of games made no easier by the Heat twice in three games, the Sixers, and then at the Nuggets to round out the month. Cleveland will also play a sneaky-good Timberwolves team twice as well, spearheaded by Anthony Edwards and a healthy Karl-Anthony Towns. That is a two-big lineup that could be problematic for the Cavs two-big lineup of their own.

April 2024: at Utah, at Phoenix (B2B), at Los Angeles Lakers, at Los Angeles Clippers (B2B), vs Memphis, vs Indiana, vs Charlotte

The Cavs finish their Western Conference road games against the a tough trio in the Suns, Lakers and Clippers. It’s a brutal stretch so late in the season when playoff seeding could still be up in the air. The good news is that the Hornets are a nice easy final game of the regular season, but the Jazz on the road and Grizzlies at home are deceptively tough games. Memphis in particular may still be trying to make a late-season push up the standings to make up for not having Ja Morant for the beginning of the season. The Cavs also get back-to-back back-to-backs This is certainly a tough end to the season for the Cavs, who get only one “gimme” game this month in Charlotte.

Overall, the Cavs have 13 back-to-back games, a tough February and April, and a more forgiving January ahead of the trade deadline. With the early playoff flame out of last season, there will be more urgency early on to look more like the team that had both a top-ten offense and defense and less like the squad that got outworked in the postseason.