December 21, 2014

Medina
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Cavs: Television thinks Cavs are worth watching

INDEPENDENCE — Judging by the 2013-14 national television schedule released by the NBA on Tuesday, the Cavaliers are expected to be a better and more exciting team to watch this season.

Cleveland is slated to have three games on ESPN, including one against LeBron James and the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena on Nov. 27. Another game will be on TNT and five others are scheduled to be shown on NBA TV.

Andrew Bynum

Kyrie Irving

After seasons where the Cavs finished 19-63, 21-45 and 24-58, the increased exposure is due in large part to the presence of developing superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, as well as No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Bennett and free agent center acquisition Andrew Bynum.

The other ESPN telecasts are a home game vs. Chicago on Jan. 22 and a road contest vs. Washington on Feb. 7. The TNT telecast will be against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 30.

The NBA TV broadcasts include the season opener against Brooklyn, to be played at The Q on Oct. 30. It will be the fifth straight year the Cavs have opened the season at home.

The other NBA TV games are at Chicago on Dec. 21, at Sacramento on Jan. 12, vs. New York on March 8 and at the Los Angeles Clippers on March 16.

Overall, the Cavs will play 17 weekend home games — four on Friday, seven on Saturday and six on Sunday — in their 41-game home schedule.

LeBron James

James and the Heat will visit twice, the other trip coming on March 18, as will the Knicks, who will come to town Dec. 10 in addition to the March 8 game on NBA TV.

Cleveland’s home schedule will conclude against the same team that opened it, as the much-improved Nets will visit on April 6 in the regular-season finale.

The Cavs’ longest home stand will be five games from Jan. 20-28, and their longest road trip will also be five games, a West Coast excursion from Jan. 10-17.

Among other schedule highlights:

• The Cavs will host Dallas at 1 p.m. in a Martin Luther King Day game on Jan. 20.

•Defending Western Conference champion San Antonio will make its only visit to Cleveland on March 4.

• Among other marquee opponents in the West, the Clippers come to The Q on Dec. 7, Golden State visits on Dec. 29, Oklahoma City invades on March 20 and much-improved Houston comes to town on March 22.

• The Cavs will play all Eastern Conference teams four times (twice at home and twice on the road) with the exception of Atlanta (one home, two road), Boston (one home, two road), Miami (two home, one road) and Toronto (two home, one road).

• There are 20 sets of back-to-back games — seven home-road, nine road-home and four road-road. In addition, there will be back-to-back Friday-Saturday games on the first eight weekends of the season, with 11 of the 16 games on the road.

• There are only two occasions in which the Cavs will play four games in five nights and two instances in which they will play five times in seven nights.

Felix signed

The Cavs made no official announcement, but numerous reports said they agreed to contract terms with second-round pick Carrick Felix. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound swingman, chosen with the 33rd overall pick out of Arizona State, received a four-year deal worth $3.3 million. The first three years are guaranteed, including his rookie salary of $510,000. The non-guaranteed fourth year is for a shade over $1 million. Felix, a lock to make the team, averaged 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in his final college season. He will turn 23 on Aug. 17.

The Cavs are expected to officially announce the signing of Felix in the near future, as well as deals with No. 1 overall pick Bennett and No. 19 selection Sergey Karasev, whose contracts as first-round choices are largely dictated by the rookie pay scale.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.