Cleveland and Golden State will do battle for the first time since the 2017 NBA Finals on Christmas, as part of the League’s annual showcase, it was announced Thursday night.
The NBA also released its national television schedule for the opening week of the season.
— NBA (@NBA) August 10, 2017
Christmas Day will feature five games.
From the press release:
The league’s 72nd season will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 17 with a TNT doubleheader that includes the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors receiving their championship rings before hosting the Houston Rockets in nine-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul’s first game with Houston (10:30 p.m. ET). In the opening game, 2017 All-Star Gordon Hayward will make his debut with the Boston Celtics as they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals (8 p.m. ET).
The 70th edition of the NBA on Christmas Day will tip off with the 76ers taking on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden (noon ET, ESPN) and culminate with the Timberwolves visiting the Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT). ABC’s Christmas Day coverage will start with a Finals rematch between the Warriors and Cavaliers at Oracle Arena (3 p.m. ET). The network’s other two holiday telecasts will also spotlight rematches from the 2017 playoffs: The Celtics will play their first Christmas home game in team history when they face the Wizards (5:30 p.m. ET), followed by reigning Kia NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and the Thunder hosting 2016-17 MVP runner-up James Harden and the Rockets (8 p.m. ET).
This year marks the earliest start to an NBA season since the 1980-81 campaign tipped off on Oct. 10, 1980. The complete 2017-18 regular-season schedule, which is being finalized, will be announced next week.