The 2015-16 NBA season won't lack for entertaining storylines. After the league released its schedule on Wednesday, here's an early look at 10 of the season's most intriguing games.
10. DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl open their season in Sacramento, Oct. 28
The Sacramento Kings made headlines during the offseason with their power struggle between All-Star center Cousins and Coach Karl. Karl wanted Cousins traded, prompting Cousins to voice his displeasure on his Twitter account. Kings fans will vocalize their loyalty or disdain for both during introductions in the team's season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.
9. Kristaps Porzingis debuts at the Garden, Oct. 29:
New York Knicks fans strongly booed Porzingis when he was selected with the fourth overall pick in this year's draft. Porzingis, however, showed flashes of greatness for the future during summer league. Will Knicks fans cheer or boo the rookie during his Madison Square Garden debut against the Atlanta Hawks?
8. LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs face the Warriors, Jan. 25:
This is the first of four meetings between the Western Conference contenders. Could the San Antonio Spurs be the best team in the NBA again after adding Aldridge and David West? The reigning NBA champions will have some say in that. San Antonio is probably the team that gives the Golden State Warriors the most to fear.
7. LaMarcus Aldridge returns to Portland, Nov. 11
Aldridge was one of the franchise's greatest players. Portland Trail Blazers fans, however, will also remember that he didn't give the team much of an opportunity to re-sign him during the past offseason. During the previous two seasons, Aldridge seemed to already have one foot out the door.
6. Kevin Durant goes to Washington, Nov. 10
The Washington Wizards have put themselves in position to make a run at the Washington-area native during free agency next summer. Durant still seems enamored with playing the Oklahoma City Thunder, loves Oklahoma and could be tough to pry away. But, home is home, and the Thunder have a new coach in Billy Donovan. Stay tuned.
5. Clippers take on the Warriors, Nov. 4
The best rivalry in the NBA resumes when the Pacific Division opponents meet. The Clippers return with a rejuvenated roster with the addition of Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson. The Warriors are the NBA champs, but didn't have to face the Clippers in the postseason. One pressing question: Can the teams attend the pregame chapel service together without arguing?
4. Kevin Durant returns to action, Oct. 28
Durant was limited to a career-low 27 games last season after suffering a broken foot. The 2013-14 NBA MVP is on a mission to regain his reputation as one of the league's top players. He'll face a tough early test when the Thunder open the season at home against the Spurs. Just being the MVP on his own team with All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook won't be easy.
3. LeBron James and the Cavs meet the champion Warriors, Dec. 25
James and the Cleveland Cavaliers fell in six games to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, and they'll meet again as the headline game on Christmas Day. Injured Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving believes they would have beaten the Warriors if Irving and Kevin Love had been able to play. Warriors forward Draymond Green begs to differ and has taken several shots at the Cavs since winning the title.
2. Kobe Bryant returns to action, Oct. 28
Bryant last played on Jan. 21 before suffering a shoulder injury and has been limited to 41 total games over the past two seasons. He is expected to start the season at small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers – the only franchise he's played for since joining the NBA in 1996. Bryant recently told Yahoo Sports he will decide whether to continue playing after the upcoming season, his 20th in the league. The Lakers will open the season at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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1. DeAndre Jordan visits Dallas, Nov. 11
Jordan agreed to sign a four-year, $80 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks before surprisingly changing his mind during free agency to return to the Clippers. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and forward Chandler Parsons have since had some choice words for Jordan. The teams face each other during opening week on Oct. 29, but Mavericks fans will get their chance to voice their opinion to the former Texas A&M star when he returns to Dallas to play.
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