Network television doesn’t think too highly of the non-LeBron James Cavaliers.
That much was obvious when the league’s 2018-19 regular-season schedule was released Friday.
The Cavs’ only appearances on ABC, TNT or ESPN will come Nov. 21 when they host James and his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, at Quicken Loans Arena, and Feb. 13 when Brooklyn comes to town. Both games will be on ESPN.
Cleveland is scheduled to have five other games — Nov. 13 vs. Charlotte, Dec. 8 vs. Washington, Jan. 13 at the Lakers, March 11 vs. Toronto, April 1 at Phoenix — shown on NBA TV.
The Cavs’ total of seven national TV games is down from the 39 they had when the 2017-18 regular-season schedule was released, which trailed only the 43 of Golden State.
This season, the Lakers are scheduled to have 43 national TV games, followed by the Warriors with 40 and Boston, Houston and Philadelphia with 39 each. Oklahoma City has 36 and no other team has as many as 30.
For the first time since 2015 and just the third time in the last 11 seasons, the Cavs will open on the road when they visit Toronto on Oct. 17. Cleveland’s home opener will be Sunday, Oct. 21, vs. Atlanta at 6 p.m.
Overall, the Cavs will have 18 weekend home games — five on Friday, eight on Saturday and five on Sunday.
The Celtics, who lost to the Cavs in seven games in the 2018 Eastern Conference finals, will visit The Q on Feb. 5 and March 26, with the Raptors coming to town Dec. 1 and March 11 and Indiana playing in Cleveland on Oct. 27 and Jan. 8.
The Warriors, who have won the NBA title three of the last four years, will be at The Q on Dec. 5, while Chicago will play a 1 p.m. game in Cleveland on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21.
Among Western Conference teams, all of which play at The Q just once a season, Oklahoma City will visit Nov. 7, Houston on Nov. 24, Portland on Feb. 25 and San Antonio on April 7.
The Cavs will play all Eastern Conference teams four times with the exception of Atlanta (two home, one road), New York (two home, one road), Orlando (one home, two road) and Philadelphia (one home, two road).
All 82 regular-season games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio, with the exception of the Nov. 21 game against James and the Lakers.
Among other schedule highlights:
- The Cavs will play 14 sets of back-to-back games — four home-road, two road-home, three home-home and five road-road.
- In addition to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day game vs. Chicago, Cleveland will have afternoon home games vs. Philadelphia (3:30 p.m., Dec. 16) and the Spurs (3 p.m., April 7).
- The Cavs’ longest homestand consists of five games over 15 days (Feb. 11-25), with the All-Star break in between. The second-longest homestand is four games from Jan. 2-8.
- The longest road trip will feature six games in 11 days from Jan. 9-19, with stops in New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles (Lakers), Portland, Utah and Denver.
- The Cavs’ final road game will be April 4 at Golden State and their last home game is April 9 against Charlotte.
- Over the course of the season, the Cavs will travel 35,670 miles.
- Single-game tickets for home preseason and regular-season games will go on sale Tuesday at noon at Cavs.com/tickets.