Latest News / Aug 13, 2014 / 4:00 pm

Report: Cavs Face Difficult Slate Of Opening Games

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James (USA TODAY)

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won’t open the 2014-2015 season against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs as previously reported, but the league still isn’t doing its new marquee team any favors. According to Yahoo Sports, the Cavs will face the revamped New York Knicks in their season-opener on October 30 before hosting Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on a back-to-back. From there, James, Kevin Love, and company will kick-off a cross-country road trip by visiting the Portland Trail Blazers.

The NBA’s full regular season schedule will be released at 9:00 ET on NBA TV, but its juiciest nuggets – including the full Christmas slate – have been leaking all day.

While it’s disappointing that the Cavs’ new era won’t begin by facing the champions, that seems only fair to the Spurs. Quicken Loans Arena will be absolutely rocking for James’ second debut, and San Antonio deserves to start its title-defense in the friendly confines of the AT&T Center. The league certainly did well to replace Cleveland as the Spurs’ opening-night foes with the rebuilt Dallas Mavericks, too.

But the Cavaliers’ first three games are most noteworthy. It takes ample time for newly assembled basketball teams to begin to mesh, and Cleveland won’t be afforded a grace period by the Knicks, Bulls, and Blazers. While New York is hardly the caliber of Chicago or Portland, games between LeBron and Carmelo Anthony are always ultra-competitive, and the Knicks should still be riding high off promise of the new regime led by Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson.

It’s far from a sure thing the Cavs will win their season-opener, basically, and many will consider them underdogs in their ensuing two games. Don’t be surprised, then, if Cleveland gets off to a middling start this season – one not unlike the Miami Heat’s 9-8 beginning in 2010-2011.

And if that proves the case, it will also be crucial to remember how James and the Heat rebounded in their first year together to win the Eastern Conference. This game is about comfort, fit, and continuity, and the Cavaliers will need to be broken-in before reaching anything close to their full potential. Given their rocky early road of the 2014-2015 season, that could mean more difficult travels than most are anticipating.

What do you think?

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  • thenoclist

    Look at the schedule immediately following those 3 games. If they aren’t 17-3 at worst after 20 games in, I would be surprised.