On Thursday afternoon, the 2023-24 NBA Schedule was released, and for the Cleveland Cavaliers, this is next season is one where they’ll look to rebound from a frustrating playoff appearance. After Cleveland had a resurgent campaign in 2022-23, when they won 51 games and secured home court advantage in the playoffs, the Cavaliers flamed out.
Following them getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2018, Cleveland lost to the New York Knicks in just five games, and it left a sour taste in fans’ mouths.
Fortunately, the 2023-24 campaign is getting closer, and next season, there’s hope that the Cavaliers should be better equipped for the playoffs. Fans should be excited to see how offseason acquisitions such as Max Strus and Georges Niang make the difference for the Cavs from here, and both profile as knockdown shooters to have.
Time will tell as to how those new guys do in a new situation with the Wine and Gold, but with them in the equation, and Cleveland’s key cogs, the Cavaliers should be a factor in the Eastern Conference, and ideally build on last season. This team should be a contender.
Now, let’s examine the aforementioned schedule release a bit further, then, with that news dropping recently. You can also view most of the schedule below, via Cayleigh Griffin of Bally Sports and the Cavs.
Cleveland will face the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 25, and then return to Cleveland for a home back-to-back versus the Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28.
The regular season schedule will conclude versus the Charlotte Hornets for the second year in a row, with then being on April 14. For further details/the game-by-game breakdown, you can view more here, via KJG’s Josh Cornelissen.
Cleveland will begin their in-season tourney group play on Nov. 3 at those same Pacers, and then will face the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 17. They’ll follow up those outings by playing at the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 21, then conclude in-season group play versus the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 28. If Cleveland wins their group, or fare better than other second-place squads for a quarterfinal spot, in the first week of December, they’ll have a chance to advance.
As we were alluding to, though, we’ll take a closer look at some of the schedule next.
What are a couple of initial takeaways, from a Cavaliers’ standpoint, from the schedule release?
The first takeaway from Cleveland’s schedule for next season relates to the eye balls the Cavaliers are going to have in 2023-24.
Takeaway No. 1: The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a ton of the national spotlight
Cleveland’s Nov. 21 in-season tourney game versus Philadelphia will have national television exposure, as will numerous other outings for the Wine and Gold. The Cavs are slated to play 17 national TV games, with eight of those being on NBA TV.
After the Cavaliers turned a corner last season, following their move for Donovan Mitchell, and the team reaching the 2022 Play-In Tournament, it’s clear that Cleveland is going to be a team that’s going to have even more of the spotlight this coming season.
The Cavs didn’t shock people last season after their prior campaign, and having players such as Darius Garland and Evan Mobley already in the mix, but in the 2023-24 season, there’s going to be even higher expectations for this team. It’s all about the playoffs from here, however, the Cavaliers having a bunch of national TV games in the regular season is something that definitely resonated with the fan base, one would have to assume.
Takeaway No. 2: Cleveland should be in good shape in their tourney group
For a quick refresher, Cleveland will be in Eastern Conference In-Season Tournament Group A, with the Hawks, Pistons, Pacers and 76ers.
With the Pistons and Pacers having productive offseasons, but still being rebuilding clubs that are probably still a ways away, the Cavaliers could be in good stead for Ws there. In early-season play, it could take some time for the Cavaliers to gel still; even so, those could very well be wins.
As for Philly, the Philadelphia-James Harden situation is seemingly only to get worse and worse, and, whether or not a move is made by Cleveland playing them on Nov. 21, the Sixers by that time could be a team that’s surrounded by distraction. In early-season, that could be a club that could be stumbling out of the gates.
Lastly, Atlanta did have a winning record against the Cavs last season, however, similarly to Philly, that does not appear to be a club that’s better off following the offseason. Atlanta traded away John Collins, and while Patty Mills was a nice veteran pickup, the Hawks could be another club who could take some time to get going, and could need some re-calibration still for much of next season, let alone early on.
This isn’t to say the Cavs will steamroll through the group stage in Group A, and a potential Philadelphia wild card seems feasible as a scenario that could play out, but for now, Cleveland could realistically be the favorite to win that group.