CLEVELAND – With the 2012-13 NBA schedule released Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers face a daunting challenge if they hope to contend in the East.
The Cavaliers open at home against John Wall, third overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards, October 30th, before embarking on a six-game West Coast road trip November 3-13.
The Cavs will face the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, NBA Finals runner-up in the Oklahoma City Thunder before concluding against Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and the new-look Brooklyn Nets.
Cleveland’s 8:00 pm home matchup against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls, December 5th on ESPN, is one of four nationally televised games for the Cavaliers as they will also face the 76ers Nov. 18, Nov. 26 against the Memphis Grizzlies and Feb 23 against the Magic on NBA TV.
Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving will face off against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, December 11, in what will be a highly-anticipated match-up thanks to Irving’s much-ballyhooed “calling out” of the five-time NBA champion during a Team USA practice in Las Vegas.
The Cavs will welcome the Houston Rockets and Jeremy Lin, January 5th, before going on their second West Coast swing Jan 11-19, in which Cleveland will face the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz.
Cleveland will have a season-long seven-game home stand February 2-20 against Oklahoma City, Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs before finishing up against top overall pick, Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Hornets.
After a three-day rest period, the Cavaliers will travel down to Florida and face Dwight Howard—if he’s still there—and the Magic and newly-crowned NBA champion, LeBron James and the Miami Heat before finishing up against the Bulls, Feb 23-26.
The Cavaliers close their regular season at home against the Philadelphia 76ers, March 29th, before wrapping up the 2012-13 season against New Orleans, March 31, and the Atlanta Hawks on the road, April 1.
Robert D. Cobb is the NBA Network Manager for Rant Media Network, Featured Writer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Featured Columnist for the Cleveland Browns and Arsenal Gunners.
In addition to covering the NBA, I also cover MLB, NFL, NHL and Champions League soccer news, rumors and opinions, please follow me on Twitter at @RobertCobb_76