Ben Margot/Associated Press

The NBA announced its schedule for the 2015-16 season, and star power reigns supreme in terms of garnering a national television audience.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors—last season’s NBA Finals competitors—lead the way with 25 national TV appearances each. The Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder are nipping at their heels with 24 such games, while fans will have to catch the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers on NBA League Pass (those three organizations don’t have a single national TV spot on their schedules).

The repetition of teams playing for a national audience might irk fans of small-market teams—especially since the lowly Los Angeles Lakers boast 19 national TV appearances a season after losing 61 games—but the NBA is aiming to show off marquee talents. In that vein, seeing LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant on a regular basis is good for the league at large.

So what are the can’t-miss nationally televised games on the docket for this coming season? We put together a list of the best matchups in chronological order.

Oct. 27 Cleveland @ Chicago

TV Schedule: Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Commissioner Adam Silver wasted no time putting a compelling matchup on the calendar from day one, as two of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams will face off on the season’s opening day. In addition to the Bulls and Cavaliers being two of the East’s best teams, Joakim Noah’s well-documented feud with LeBron James should spice things up.

Oct. 27 New Orleans @ Golden State

TV Schedule: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Following the showdown between Chicago and Cleveland, reigning MVP Stephen Curry will lead his Warriors at home against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. Former Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry is now patrolling the Pelicans’ sidelines as head coach. Can he guide his new team to victory over the defending champs?

In any case, we’ll take any excuse to watch Curry and “The Brow” competing in the same game.

Oct. 28 San Antonio @ Oklahoma City

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

LaMarcus Aldridge will be making his debut for the new-look San Antonio Spurs, while OKC will be reloaded with a healthy Kevin Durant—who missed 55 games last season due to injury.

In addition to LMA looking to impress a new fan base, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan will make his NBA debut. The intriguing storylines, however, will likely be secondary to the high-quality basketball played by these two juggernauts.

Oct. 28 Minnesota @ LA Lakers

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

We pooh-poohed the fact that Lakerland gets 19 nationally televised games this season, but yet another long-awaited return from future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant and the opportunity for fans to scout out Minnesota’s young roster is a compelling draw.

This will also be the first matchup between 2015 No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns and No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell. Both will be trying to build on their Summer League showings.

Oct. 29 Atlanta @ New York

TV Schedule: Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Atlanta didn’t get much love in terms of nationally televised games for 2015-16. Despite racking up a season-high 60 wins a season ago, the Hawks will only be on national TV eight times. But make no mistake, Mike Budenholzer’s crew will still be fun to watch.

The matchup with the hapless Knicks may not look too compelling, but this will also be the first time fans will get to see No. 4 overall pick Kristaps Porzingis on the national stage.

Oct. 30 Miami @ Cleveland

TV Schedule: Friday, 7:00 p.m. on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Even though it feels like LeBron James left the Miami Heat eons ago to return to Cleveland, the showdown against his former team will continue to be one worth watching so long as Miami remains competitive.

With a presumably healthy starting five of Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside, the Heat certainly have enough pieces to be a very good team. Can they upset the King on his home floor?

Nov. 1 Milwaukee @ Toronto

TV Schedule: Sunday, 6:00 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Why You Can’t Miss It:

We’re cheating a bit here by listing a game televised on NBA TV rather than one of the big three: ESPN, TNT and ABC. However, we simply couldn’t omit the Toronto Raptors from the list. They’re one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and they simply got better during free agency by adding DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph and Luis Scola, among others.

This face-off with Milwaukee—another Eastern Conference team that had a solid offseason with the addition of Greg Monroe—should provide a competitive atmosphere.

Nov. 11 LA Clippers @ Dallas

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Only Patrick Star was left out of the loop with regard to DeAndre Jordan’s free-agency saga. The talented big man verbally agreed to sign a deal with the Dallas Mavericks before getting cold feet and re-upping with the Clippers.

Boos are sure to rain down at American Airlines Center when Jordan’s name gets introduced to Mavs fans (and every moment he touches the ball afterward). The hostile environment will add even more fuel to the fire between these Western Conference foes.

Nov. 18 New Orleans @ Oklahoma City

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

As if you needed a reason to watch Anthony Davis that doesn’t end at, “because he’s Anthony Davis,” the big man will likely face off against OKC’s Serge Ibaka—one of the game’s best defenders.

Add Durant and Westbrook to the mix and this Western Conference showdown has no shortage of star power.

Nov. 23 New York @ Miami

TV Schedule: Monday, 7:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Another NBA TV affair, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to advocate for watching the renewed rivalry between Slovenian guards Goran Dragic and Sasha Vujacic.

The two have gotten into it on the court a few times in the past. Dragic has said, “We are coming from the same country and he wants to demonstrate that he’s better than me and (I want to show that) I’m better than him, so that’s just the rivalry.”

Quite frankly, these fellow countrymen hate each other, and it’s not quite clear why. Vujacic hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013-14, when he suited up with the Clippers for two games. There’s no guarantee he’ll get steady minutes back in the NBA with the Knicks, but the head-to-head matchup between these two is must-see TV if it happens.

Dec. 3 San Antonio @ Memphis

TV Schedule: Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

The “grit-and-grind” Grizzlies will take on the mighty Spurs in early December. This will undoubtedly play host to one of the best frontcourt matchups in the NBA. Memphis boasts former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol along with Zach Randolph and lockdown defender Tony Allen, while the Spurs have last year’s DPOY Kawhi Leonard grouped with LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan.

The games between these two foes rarely disappoint.

Dec. 17 Oklahoma City @ Cleveland

TV Schedule: Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

The showdown between LeBron James and Kevin Durant should be enough to lure fans in. If you don’t want to see these two MVP-caliber talents compete against one another, you should probably re-evaluate your basketball fandom.

Dec. 17 Houston @ LA Lakers

TV Schedule: Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

It’s abundantly clear that Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard never saw eye-to-eye during their brief stint together in LA. As long as Bryant is suiting up and competing, you can bet he’ll want to send D12 away with a loss.

Dec. 18 LA Clippers @ San Antonio

TV Schedule: Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

The seven-game series between the Clippers and Spurs in the first round of the playoffs last year was an instant classic. It was a heavyweight bout for the ages that proved more entertaining than any other series by a landslide.

Both teams improved during the offseason, so there’s reason to believe the competition will be as intense as it was back in April.

Dec. 25 New Orleans @ Miami

TV Schedule: Friday, 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

This is the first of four Christmas Day games on our list. Those on the West Coast can start their holiday off by watching Anthony Davis, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others face off in South Beach.

Both teams will presumably be looking to gain momentum heading into 2016, so this could prove an important turning point for better or worse.

Dec. 25 Chicago @ Oklahoma City

TV Schedule: Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Why You Can’t Miss It:

In addition to this Christmas Day matchup being between two title contenders, it also features two new coaches: Fred Hoiberg replacing Tom Thibodeau for the Bulls and Billy Donovan on OKC’s side replacing Scott Brooks.

Again, there’s no shortage of star power in this one.

Dec. 25 Cleveland @ Golden State

TV Schedule: Friday, 5:00 p.m. ET on ABC

Why You Can’t Miss It:

This one is pretty self explanatory. A rematch of last season’s NBA Finals showdown between LeBron’s Cavs and Steph Curry’s Dubs.

If the Cavaliers enter the affair healthy, a win could go a long way toward building their collective confidence. It will also add fuel to the fire Kyrie Irving set over the summer saying, “I feel like we definitely would have won an NBA championship if we had everyone healthy.”

Dec. 25 San Antonio @ Houston

TV Schedule: Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

There’s really nothing fancy here, just a matchup between two rock-solid teams that should both be competing for a title by season’s end.

Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard should be matched up against MVP runner-up James Harden (a key battle to watch).

Jan. 14 Cleveland @ San Antonio

TV Schedule: Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Before LeBron James left his home state and won two titles in Miami, his 2006-07 Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals only to get swept soundly by the Spurs.

With a much better supporting cast this time around, LeBron and his past foe are actually a far more even matchup.

Jan. 18 Golden State @ Cleveland

TV Schedule: Monday, 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Because the Warriors and Cavs play in separate conferences, they’ll only play each other twice throughout 2015-16 unless they meet in the NBA Finals for the second straight year.

As a result, both games between the two foes make our list. Any chance we have to see these two rosters face off at full strength should not be overlooked.

Jan. 31 Chicago @ LA Clippers

TV Schedule: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Chris Paul vs. Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin vs. Pau Gasol, DeAndre Jordan vs. Joakim Noah…there are plenty of fun matchups to look out for in this game.

Don’t be surprised if an X-factor like Paul Pierce steps up and decides this game while the slew of stars do battle.

Feb. 24 San Antonio @ Sacramento

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Rajon Rondo has done a lot of talking for his new team. The ornery point guard claims that the “sky’s the limit” for the Kings, but we’ll have a better idea if Sacramento will be competitive in late February.

If Rondo’s words hold any weight, SacTown can prove itself even further with a win against San Antonio. Perhaps “National TV Rondo” will be on full display.

March 9 Miami @ Milwaukee

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Even though the Milwaukee Bucks will only appear on national TV four times this season, they’re still worth watching. Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Michael Carter-Williams are all exciting, lanky athletes that fit perfectly in Jason Kidd’s defensive-minded system.

They’ll face a true test on March 9 against a far more experienced Heat team. It’s also an opportunity for fans to see Milwaukee’s new court design on full display in high definition.

March 9 LA Clippers @ Oklahoma City

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

Back in 2014, the Thunder ousted Chris Paul and the Clippers from the playoffs 4-2 in the Western Conference semifinals. Durant (33.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists) and Westbrook (27.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 8.8 assists) were both absolutely brilliant in the series.

Regardless of whether the Clippers hold a grudge, these key Western Conference matchups will be an important litmus test prior to potential meetings in the postseason.

March 13 Cleveland @ LA Clippers

TV Schedule: Sunday, 3:30 ET on ABC

Why You Can’t Miss It:

A day game and a potential NBA Finals preview, the Cavs will head to Hollywood in mid-March to compete against one of the Western Conference’s best teams.

In addition to watching King James and the Blake Show, the back-and-forth between CP3 and the much younger Kyrie Irving will be a dual between two of the game’s best at the point guard position.

March 23 Dallas @ Portland

TV Schedule: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

The Dallas Mavericks will make a trip to the Moda Center on Dec. 1, but there’s a chance Wesley Matthews won’t be back on that date following an Achilles tear he suffered last season.

If Matthews isn’t back by early December, fans can watch the former undrafted guard play against his former team later in the season on ESPN. Chances are the Trail Blazers will be a significantly worse team without Matthews, Nic Batum, Aldridge and Robin Lopez, but we can still expect Damian Lillard to show out in the big games.

April 1 Cleveland @ Atlanta

TV Schedule: Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Why You Can’t Miss It:

A rematch of the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals, this matchup between the East’s two best teams from a season ago could have some playoff seeding implications come April.

April 13 Utah @ LA Lakers

TV Schedule:

Why You Can’t Miss It:

This could potentially be Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game following a career spanning 20 seasons, more than 50,000 career minutes and ending with five championships. If the Lakers don’t make the playoffs (likely), this could very well be the Black Mamba’s sendoff.

Love him or hate him, the NBA is going to feel much different when Bryant is gone.

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