Updated: Sep 20
The NBA released its entire 2022-2023 schedule Wednesday. While the NBA scheduling format has been the same for years, it’s always important (and fun!) to look at who the Cavs play and when they play. After having only one primetime game last season, the Cavs are set for nine (four on NBA TV, three on ESPN and two on TNT) this season.
Let’s not waste anymore time! Let's get right into October!
Opening Night Across the Border
Evan Mobley’s quest to prove he was robbed of the Rookie of the Year starts with his first game in his sophomore campaign. Mobley and his teammates will travel up to the border to take on the Raptors and the Rookie of the Year from a season ago in Scottie Barnes. The Raptors and Cavs are two similar teams, and this should be a fun Wednesday, October 19th from Scotiabank Arena.
The Wine and Golders have a few days off before traveling to Chicago, a team who gave the Cavs trouble last season. The home opener occurs the following night (October 23rd) against the Wizards. Opening month finishes with a home game against the Magic, a road trip to the Eastern Conference Champion Celtics and another home bout with the Knicks. A 3-3 or 4-2 start should be realistic for the team.
Early West Coast Trip
Just like a year ago, the Cavs take an early trip out to the west coast in November. Following another matchup with Boston at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on November 2nd and a bout with the Pistons in the Motor City 48 hours later, J.B. Bickersfaff and crew will embark on a four-game west coast trip. LeBron James and the Lakers, Paul George and the Clippers (NBA TV), De’Aaron Fox and the Kings and the defending World Champs are all on the docket during a five-day stretch from November 6th-11th. The Cavs return home for a matchup with the improved TimberWolves on November 13th before heading right back on the road to take on two-time MVP Giannis Antetumpko and the Bucks on the 16th.
Following the five road dates in six games, the Fieldhouse will host the team’s next four, with the Hornets, Heat, Hawks and Blazers coming to town. A tough four-game tilt ends the month. A three-game road trip in Milwaukee (again), Detroit (again) and Toronto (again), won’t be easy; then the Cavs return home to take on the Sixers.
Out of the 14 different opponents the Cavs play in November, eight of them made the postseason a year ago, and the Hornets and Clippers (just like the Cavs) competed in the Play-In Tournament. The Lakers, even with their dysfunction, still have a ton of talent led by James and Anthony Davis. With three back-to-backs in the month, the Association did the Cavs no favors in November.
Home For The Holidays
While the league did not give the Cavs a favorable start to the 2022-2023 campaign, they surely gave them a gift for the holiday season. While the Wine and Golders will not compete on Christmas Day, the Fieldhouse will be hosting a lot of games during the last month of 2022. Out of the 14 games scheduled for December, 10 will take place in the friendly confines of Cleveland.
The biggest game in the month occurs on December 6th when LeBron brings his talents back to the 216 for a primetime matchup on TNT. Notable opponents during the holiday season include the Mavericks (December 14th in Dallas, 17th in Cleveland), Jazz (19th), Bucks (21st), Raptors (23rd) and Nets (26th). The Nets game (NBA TV) will be the first time the two teams meet since Brooklyn beat the Cavs in the first-round of the Play-In Tournament. It’ll be interesting to see how Brooklyn’s roster looks the day after Christmas. The Cavs will celebrate the New Year in Chicago by (hopefully) knocking off the Bulls.
West Coast Trip, Part 2
As is the case most years with the Cavs, January involves a west coast trip due to “Disney On Ice” being at the Fieldhouse. This one occurs from January 6th-14th. The opponents: Nuggets, Suns, Jazz, Blazers and T-Wolves. The gauntlet against teams from the west continue with a home game on Martin Luther King Day against the Pelicans (16th), a road trip to Memphis (18th) and then back home against Steph Curry and company (20th).
A two-game break against the west see’s the Bucks coming to town for the first time in the season, followed by a road trip that begins in MSG. After playing the Knicks in the Garden, the Cavs head to Houston and Oklahoma City for a back-to-back, before finishing the first month of 2023 with home stints against the Clippers and last year’s No. 1 seed in the east in the Heat.
January embarks a brutal stretch for the Cavs, a stretch in which they play 16 games in 31 days, and 12 of those 16 come against their opposite conference. Last year, the team went 17-13 against the West a year ago. They’ll look to carry over that success, but an injury or two at this time would not be ideal.
The first game of the shortest month of the year is back in prime time! On the 2nd, the Grizzlies, led by superstar point guard Ja Morant come to town for a big matchup prior to the All-Star Break. The team will receive a nice two days off before beginning a stretch where they play five games in six days, with three of those games being away from Cleveland. Indiana and Washington will play the Cavs on a back-to-back on the 5th and 6th, followed by a home bout with Detroit on the 8th, followed by another back-to-back against the Pelicans on the road on ESPN (10th) and the Bulls at home (11th). Home against the Spurs (13th) and at Philadelphia (15th) round out the schedule pre All-Star Weekend.
After the festivities of All-Star Weekend in Utah, the Cavs first game back puts them up against the Nuggets at home, then the Hawks in Atlanta during a back-to-back on the 23rd and 24th. The month ends with a home game on the 26th against the Raptors, the final time the two teams will meet during the regular season.
February is no easy task for the Cavs. Mixed with a good amount of contenders from both conferences and filled with three back-to-backs, there is no rest for the weary after an intense January.
March may be one of the oddest scheduling quirks for a team I can recall, as the Cavs will be playing three teams (Miami, Charlotte and Brooklyn) in two games, both on the road, with a day off in between. The team travels to Miami on the 8th, then they play again in Miami on the 10th (NBA TV). The 12th and 14th consists of games in Charlotte, while the the 21st and 23rd will see the Cavs play the Nets in Brooklyn, with the game on the 21st happening on NBA TV. The Celtics will also meet the Cavs twice (once in Boston on March 1st on ESPN and then March 6th in Cleveland). That’s eight games against four opponents, all who will be fighting for playoff positioning in the dogfight that will be the Eastern Conference.
After games against a lot of the west in January and February, March is all about the Cavs’ eastern foes. Along with the four teams mentioned above, the Cavs also see the Pistons, Sixers (ESPN), Wizards and Knicks in March (all at home), plus they go on the road to Atlanta. All total, the Wine and Golders will play eight road games in March as opposed to only six home games, not ideal as the season winds down.
By the time April comes around, 78 games will be signed, sealed and delivered on the Cavs 2022-2023 season. They end with a home bout against the Pacers on April 2nd, two straight with Orlando (both in Orlando) on the 4th and 6th, and the home/season finale occurs on the 9th against the Charlotte Hornets.
Overall, the Cavs schedule is not any different than most years. Being at home a lot in December is a plus, but down the stretch there’s going to be a lot of important games (both home and away) with playoff implications. There’s a lot of expectations for this young Cavs team to take the next step this upcoming season, and they will look to LET EM KNOW, beginning in mid-October in Toronto.
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