James, Warriors, Rockets, Celtics highlight NBA TV schedule
NEW YORK, AP:
NBA fans will get a smorgasbord of LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, the All-Star laden line-up of the defending champions Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets and the up-and-coming Boston Celtics as part of the league's national television schedule.
The NBA released its TV schedule for the first week of the season, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr Day yesterday, and all are prominently featured.
James Harden and the Rockets will appear three times on national television in the opening week of the season, while Lakers, Warriors and Celtics will be featured twice.
The highlight of the coveted Christmas Day games is James facing a familiar foe Stephen Curry and the Warriors for a fourth straight year, only this time James will be wearing Lakers' gold and purple rather than the familiar wine and gold colours of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors, who added centre DeMarcus Cousins in the off-season, feature a line-up with five current NBA All-Stars.
The other Christmas Day games include Kyrie Irving and the Celtics hosting the young, but talented Philadelphia 76ers. The Rockets, who came within a game of knocking off the Warriors in the Western Conference finals last season, will host the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks visit the New York Knicks and the Portland Trail Blazers visit the Utah Jazz.
The featured MLK day games includes a Warriors-Lakers rematch this time in Los Angeles while the 76ers host the Rockets, and Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Memphis Grizzles.
A look at some of the games on the league's national TV schedule:
The NBA season begins October 16 with TNT televising the 76ers at the Celtics and the Thunder at the Warriors. The Pelicans visit the Rockets and Mavericks face the Suns on October 17 on ESPN.
On October 18, the Bulls travel to face the 76ers and the Lakers visit the Trail Blazers, which both games on TNT. The Celtics will visit the Raptors on October 19, while the Jazz host the Warriors on ESPN. The first nationally televised weekend games include the Raptors at the Washington Wizards on NBA TV and Rockets-Lakers October 20 on ESPN, and the Rockets-Los Angeles Clippers October 21 on NBA TV.