Thanks to a stirring playoff performance, the Warriors will be prime-time players in the upcoming season.
Not only do the Warriors open the season by hosting the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena, they also will have 17 national-TV appearances, a franchise record.
With the NBA on Tuesday releasing the schedule for next season, the Warriors — who lost to the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals — were given plenty of respect.
The Lakers — expected to be without megastar Kobe Bryant due to an Achilles injury — will open the Oracle Arena schedule Oct. 30. A night later, the Warriors go south to play the Los Angeles Clippers.
After going 47-35 last season, the Warriors — who acquired Andre Iguodala to play alongside 3-point sharpshooter Steph Curry — will play nine games on ESPN and eight on TNT. The marquee game will be Christmas Day against the Clippers at Oracle on ESPN. ESPN will also carry the Feb. 28 game at New York, a year and a day after Curry lit up the Knicks for 54 points in a loss at Madison Square Garden.
The two-time defending champion Miami Heat will make their lone trip to Oakland on Feb. 12, while the Warriors will visit South Florida on Jan. 2.
The early part of the schedule will be challenging to the Warriors as 14 of their first 22 games are on the road. Conversely, the finish benefits the Warriors with 13 of their last 20 at Oracle. That includes wrapping up the season April 16 against the Denver Nuggets, a rematch of the Western Conference quarterfinal series won by the Warriors.
The Warriors also have 15 back-to-backs, matching the fewest since moving to the West Coast (also happened in the 2008-09 season).