The NBA released their full schedule on Monday with plenty of interesting games following one of the crazier off-seasons in league history.
The season opens on 17th October with just two games as the Golden State Warriors, 10/19 to win the NBA Championship, and Cleveland Cavaliers (9/2) open up the campaign against the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics respectively. The defending champion Warriors and beaten finalists the Cavaliers will both be expected to meet in the NBA championship for a fourth consecutive year unless Kyrie Irving is dealt.
Then things could get interesting. Likewise the large amount of movement of top players, which could still include both Irving and Carmelo Anthony, sets up some fascinating and almost certainly not so friendly homecomings.
D'Angelo Russell and the Brooklyn Nets visit the Los Angeles Lakers in early November, Paul George returns to Indianapolis in mid-December when the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Indiana Pacers and Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics travel to Salt Lake City to visit the Utah Jazz in late March.
There's also the return of Chris Paul with his new Houston team-mates to play the Los Angeles Clippers, and Jimmy Butler visiting Chicago with the Minnesota Timberwolves to match up with the Bulls. The antipathy of the Thunder fans to Kevin Durant and the Warriors will no doubt continue as will the general dislike of Golden State and the Cavaliers who once again meet on Christmas Day and the Martin Luther King Jr holiday.
Throw in a great rookie class with some classic match ups, not least Lonzo Ball and the Lakers taking on Markelle Fultz and the Philadelphia 76ers, and this could well be the most entertaining NBA season in a decade. And all we have to do is wait another two months!
View all Basketball lines