The Cleveland Cavaliers are officially back in the national spotlight. Sure, it’s only one nationally televised game on ESPN, but after a year of getting blanked by the ratings-hungry, the Wine and Gold (read: Kyrie Irving) will grace flat panels across the country when they host the Chicago Bulls on December 5, 2012. This broadcast, coupled with three other contests which will be aired on NBATV1 provide the baby steps needed to acclimate the non-Cleveland market to the post-LeBron James Cavaliers.
The Cavs, as we have started to grow accustomed to over the years, will be tipping off the new season within the confines of Quicken Loans Arena when the Washington Wizards ((RIVALRY!!) come to town. Interestingly enough, after the first two games at home, the team will immediately take on their largest road trip of the season when they play six games in 11 days, ranging from Milwaukee to Phoenix and back to Brooklyn to face the Nets. Air Miles, galore.
Cavalier fans will be grateful for the 2012-13 schedule as they will have a plethora of weekend contests at their disposal, including 17 home weekend games with 10 Friday night games, six Saturday games and a Sunday afternoon game against the Orlando Magic on April 7th. Just as they will take to the road early on, the entire month of February — similar to this past season — will feature the Cavaliers almost exclusively at home as they will have a seven-game stand that stretches from February 2 to February 20.
From a heft standpoint, the team will be forced to play18 back-to-backs with six pairs coming in December alone. The dreaded “four games in five nights” will rear its ugly head on four different occasions. One of these stretches even includes five games in seven nights as well as eight games in 12 nights right before Christmas. Its assumed that this is where Byron Scott’s legendary focus on conditioning will (hopefully) pay a few dividends.
Those looking for the road shows will be glad to know that, with a full 82-game slate, all of the big names will be coming to town. The month of March will feature Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers (3/1), Carmelo, Amare and the Knicks (3/4), LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat (3/20) and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and the Celtics (3/27). The Mike Brown-led Lakers will make their return to Cleveland after not making the trip last season, on December 11. The Oklahoma City Thunder will be one of the numerous weekend games, arriving on Saturday, February 2. The Heat will return for a second time as the season winds to a close on April 15, likely aslo serving as the annual “Fan Appreciation Night,” providing an interesting dynamic.
Naturally, each and every Cavaliers game will be televised in High-Definition on FOX Sports Ohio (with the exception of the December 5th ESPN broadcast), and all games will also be broadcast across the Cavaliers Radio Network, by their flagship station WTAM 1100 AM. For a printable version of the whole shebang, we got you covered.
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Nov. 18th at Philadelphia, Nov. 26th at Memphis and Feb. 23rd at Orlando [↩]