Cleveland Cavaliers Schedule 2013-14: Most Anticipated Games of the Season
The Cleveland Cavaliers' 2013-14 schedule was released recently, and it carries a number of intriguing contests.
While the complete schedule can be found here on Cavs.com, the following six games will definitely be worth circling, highlighting or underlining on your calender.
Cleveland will also see a bump up in recognition, going from one nationally televised game in 2012-13 to nine this coming season.
This is no doubt thanks in part to the tremendous offseason Cleveland has had, along with the ever-growing fan club of Kyrie Irving.
Getting the chance to watch all 82 games would be ideal, but if that's not an option, here are the six games you absolutely cannot miss.
October 30 vs. Brooklyn Nets
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Reasons to Watch: Home and season opener, debuts of Andrew Bynum, Anthony Bennett and Jarrett Jack
The Cavaliers kick off their 2013-14 season against the Brooklyn Nets at Quicken Loans Arena.
It's easy to say this will be the most anticipated home opener in years, as the Cavs carry a legitimate shot at making the playoffs this season. Free-agent pickups Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark will all make their debuts in Cleveland, as will new rookies Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix (if he's not in Canton).
Anderson Varejao should also be making his return after missing the past 57 games last year with a torn muscle and blood clot. His energy in a much-anticipated home opener will help make the arena electrifying.
The Cavs will have to jell quickly with likely two new starters and a revamped bench.
The good news is the Brooklyn Nets will be doing the same, given their offseason haul of talent.
With both teams fighting through early season chemistry issues, give the nod to the home team.
Cavaliers, thanks to energy from the home crowd.
November 27 vs. Miami Heat
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The Cavs get a tough test when the defending champion Heat come to C-town on Thanksgiving Eve.
The game will also be broadcast on ESPN, and it will be one of nine nationally televised tilts for Cleveland this season. The Cavs' only game on ESPN last season came against the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans). Needless to say, this one should attract a few more viewers.
In the past three years, Cleveland has only beaten Miami one time despite playing them close on multiple occasions.
Last season, the Cavs had a 27-point lead during the third quarter against Miami, only to fall flat and continue to leave Ray Allen and Shane Battier open time after time.
Cleveland ended up losing 98-95 in what was one of the more emotional games of the season.
This one should prove to be another close game, as the Cavs have only gotten better this offseason whereas Miami has done little to improve its team.
Still, it's important to give credit where credit is due.
Miami, unless Cleveland proves it can sustain a lead.
December 7 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Reason to Watch: Chris Paul vs. Kyrie Irving
There's only one matchup every NBA fan would tune into a Cavs-Clippers game to see, and it's not Matt Barnes vs. Alonzo Gee.
The game's best point guard, Chris Paul, and perhaps the game's next great point guard, Kyrie Irving, will square off for just the second time on December 7 at the Q.
In their only prior matchup, Irving and the Cavaliers actually got the best of Paul and the Clippers. Irving scored 24 points and dished out 10 assists in a 108-101 Cavs win on November 5, 2012.
Dion Waiters scored 28 points in the game, connecting on seven three-pointers.
For Irving, there is no better player to model his game after in the NBA today than Paul, especially on the defensive end.
This is going to come down to which supporting cast steps up the most, given that both Irving and Paul should have outstanding games.
Fatigue could also be an issue for Cleveland, as this will mark the team's third game in just four days.
Clippers, given the Cavs' tough schedule leading up.
January 14 at Los Angeles Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Reason to Watch: Andrew Bynum makes return to L.A.
Going off the assumption that the knees are good, Bynum will make his first appearance in L.A. since being traded by the Lakers last offseason.
Look for Bynum to have a big game, fueled by the emotion of his return to the city that launched his career.
If Bynum can establish himself down low and open up outside shots for Irving, Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles, Cleveland can come out of Hollywood with a win.
Cleveland, if Bynum has a successful return.
January 30 at New York Knicks
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Reason to Watch: Irving looks to follow up 41-point performance at Madison Square Garden
The last time Kyrie Irving was at MSG, he put on quite a show.
Dropping a career-best 41 points in a 103-102 Cavs' loss, Irving proved his killer offensive instinct on basketball's biggest stage.
The Knicks made a few offseason moves, trading for Andrea Bargnani and signing Metta World Peace. They should once again be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and could potentially be matched up against the Cavs in a playoff series down the road.
This will be a good test for Cleveland, as the Cavs will be less than a month from the trade deadline and will really be examining their strengths and weaknesses as a team.
With an improved supporting cast, Irving may not need to score 41 again, but it certainly wouldn't hurt, either.
Cavs, if Irving has another big game in New York.
April 9 vs. Detroit Pistons
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Reason to Watch: Division rival with possible playoff implications
These additions, coupled with Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Rodney Stuckey, will certainly make the Pistons a force to be reckoned with in the Central Division.
Something tells me that this April 9 game will be big for both clubs, as Cleveland and Detroit could very well be in the playoff picture at this time.
It could also mean the difference between a No. 7 or No. 8 seed and the battle over who would likely have to play the Miami Heat in the first round.
A good Cavs-Pistons game hasn't been seen for about five years now, and it is definitely overdue.
The team that needs this game more for its playoff hopes will be the one that comes out on top.
Whichever team the game means more for.