Basketball fans, we know your hunger for more NBA never ends. Offseason can feel like an eternity, but the wait is almost over – the 2015-16 NBA schedule was just released and it promises plenty of intrigue and nail-biting action when things tip off on Oct. 27. Between hot matchups, major roster shakeups, and key players returning to the game, this season has plenty of excitement in store.
Here are some highlights from the NBA schedule release:
2015-16 Season Tips Off with a Boom
The season opens on Oct. 27 with a doubleheader when defending champs the Golden State Warriors host the New Orleans Pelicans. The second opening night game features the Detroit Pistons against the Atlanta Hawks, a team riding high off a franchise-best 60-win streak last season. The action continues on Oct. 28 with the always-dynamite San Antonio Spurs facing the Oklahoma City Thunder, and if that wasn’t enough NBA action, the LA Lakers will be taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves at home. That, plus so much more, makes up two full days of insane matchups, folks.
The NBA Goes Big for the Holidays
Things heat up over Thanksgiving weekend when the Toronto Raptors go head-to-head with the Washington Wizards on Saturday Nov. 28, a big Eastern matchup that promises to revive you from your turkey coma. And fans get a big gift Christmas Day with five big matchups, including the New Orleans Pelicans vs. the Miami Heat at noon ET and the Chicago Bulls vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder at 2:30 PM. The holidays just got a little more spirited.
Fewer Back-To-Back Games
Perhaps the most significant change to the schedule is a reduction in back-to-back games and traveling for all NBA teams. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently issued a directive to be mindful of players’ health and recuperation needs, and the schedule reflects that. “Long distance” back-to-back games have been reduced by 25 percent, and back-to-backs that cross a time zone have been reduced by 18 percent. Players are happy with the changes, and it can only elevate the level of play on the court.
Read more about the NBA schedule announcement at NBA.com.