2014 NBA opening week schedule guide

Andrew Garrison

The NBA schedule has been released. Here's what's in store for opening week.

NBA opening week is a huge event, highlighting the many new teams and storylines that will dominate the season. This is the first real look at how these renovated, rebuilding and reloaded teams will play together, and is usually a great celebration of the return basketball.

Here's a look at opening week, and a few of the key games that will open the season.

Opening Night

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs

Oct. 28, 8 p.m. ET, TNT

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks head to San Antonio in a Texas showdown between the two teams that account for three of the past four Western Conference championships. The Mavericks reloaded their roster with Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons after pushing the Spurs to a seven-game series in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Spurs will open the season with a ring ceremony and tough opponent in the rebuilt Mavericks. A great way to begin the 82-game journey that is the NBA regular season.

Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Oct. 28, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

Will Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant face off for the first time since the big man's departure from Los Angeles? The Lakers open their season by welcoming the Rockets to Staples Center in a match-up that will surely bring an intense atmosphere from the home crowd.

Bryant's return to the NBA after missing all but six games last season begins opening night, while James Harden and Howard set out to improve on a successful first season together despite the loss of Chandler Parsons.

Other season openers

Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks

Oct. 29, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Carmelo Anthony and the triangle offense make their regular season debut against a returning Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks will have their eye on making the playoffs after a disappointing 37-win season.

Chicago will be one of the favorites to take the Eastern Conference, and the addition of Pau Gasol, Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic should be an interesting story to watch.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Oct. 29, 8 p.m. ET, Local stations

This could be the regular season debut of Andrew Wiggins barring any dramatic changes to the pending trade of Kevin Love to Cleveland. Wiggins has been long-considered the most coveted player to join the NBA in years, and his career could begin against a tough Grizzlies team that will challenge the young prospect.

Let this begin:

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Oct. 29, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Thunder begin another battle through the Western Conference with the new playoff contender in town, the Trail Blazers. Portland may not have advanced beyond the second round of the NBA Playoffs, but Damian Lillard and company made enough noise to become a team to watch this season.

Oklahoma City has held tight to the idea the trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka can lead it back to the NBA Finals, but injuries have affected its playoff runs in back-to-back years. The Thunder's first outing will be against a team that will be in pursuit of reaching the top of the Western Conference this year.

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET, STATION

The Brooklyn Nets weren't able to turn their $102 million payroll into an NBA championship, but they did reach the Eastern Conference semifinals despite Brook Lopez missing the season after breaking his foot. The Brooklyn core is still mostly together, though Paul Pierce has moved on to join the Washington Wizards.

The Celtics rebuild rolls along, and sixth-overall pick Marcus Smart will make his debut at Barclays Center. The Nets should be in the mix for another run to the playoffs under new head coach Lionel Hollins, while Boston will likely be on the outside looking in for the second straight year.

Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat

Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET, Local stations

Speaking of Pierce and the Wizards, they open their season in South Beach as they take on the LeBron-less Heat. Both teams should be considered threats in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards lost to the Pacers in six games last season and made minor adjustments this season by replacing Trevor Ariza with Paul Pierce.

Miami should still be a strong team in the East even without James after signing Luol Deng to be their new starting small forward. Erik Spoelstra and the Heat begin establishing a new era of Heat basketball, and the Wizards try to build on a successful season.

New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Oct. 30, 8 p.m. ET, TNT

LeBron James' return to the Cavaliers begins with a high-profile match against the Knicks in Cleveland. This game features the two biggest free agents from this past summer, and what will likely be Kevin Love's first game in a Cavaliers uniform.

All eyes will be on how James' return to Cleveland goes in what will likely be the biggest story to follow through the season.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Oct. 30, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

The Clippers begin their post-Sterling era with a rematch against the team that eliminated them in the Western Conference semifinals, the Thunder. Chris Paul and company made minor roster adjustments while their front office underwent major changes this summer.

Blake Griffin and Paul embark on their fourth season together and the Clippers are hoping their dynamic duo of superstars can deliver some hope after a trying, controversial summer.

Halloween national games

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls

Oct. 31, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Two of the favorite teams to come out of the Eastern Conference meet for the first time early in the season in what will be a huge match-up. James and the Cavaliers will look try jump over the Bulls for East supremacy, but the Bulls are reloaded with Rose back in the lineup and Gasol on board.

James and the Bulls have battled in the past, and will pick up where they left off with a new season in front of them.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Oct. 31, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

'The first chapter in the battle for L.A. for the 2014-2015 season comes on Halloween as the Lakers play host in their first game against the Clippers. This will be each team's second game of the season, giving them a chance to shake off opening day jitters to get straight to business.

The Clippers took the season series against the Lakers 3-1 and will surely look to start off on the right foot following a tough game against the Thunder in the first half of their back-to-back.

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