The Portland Trail Blazers will host two of the NBA’s biggest stars in this season’s first week. The NBA announced the 2014-15 schedule, Wednesday.
The league’s Most Valuable Player, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder will tip off Portland’s schedule, Wednesday Oct. 29.
Six nights later, the Blazers host superstar LeBron James. He’s now back with his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers - after reaching the NBA Finals last season with the Miami Heat.
In the first three weeks of the season, the Blazers play nine of 12 games at home, and never go farther east than Denver.
The Blazers have two road trips of five games each — visiting New York and the Midwest in December, and traveling to Toronto and the South in March.
The Trail Blazers surprised many NBA observers last season by winning a playoff series. The Blazers have added two rotation players - center Chris Kaman and point guard Steve Blake, who’s back with the Blazers for a third time.
The NBA made one change that affects the whole schedule: the All-Star break is a few days longer. As ESPN reported, NBA commissioner Adam Silver publicly floated the possibility of a longer break last February.
While it’ll be months before the NBA names its All-Star team, word of a longer break might be particularly welcome news to two Portland players.
LaMarcus Aldridge has made the All-Star game the last three seasons, and Damian Lillard was a first-time All-Star last year. Lillard made history by competing in a total of five events during All-Star weekend.