Sports / Basketball

Defending champion San Antonio spurs tips off 2014-15 NBA season

( Updated: 2014-10-27 18:59

Opening week features 17 games in six days on CCTV 5, BesTV, GDTV, Sina and Tencent

BEIJING - The 2014-15 NBA season tips off Wednesday, Oct. 29 with the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks at 8 a.m.

The NBA's broadcast partners in China, including CCTV 5, BesTV, Chongqing TV, GDTV, Sina, Tencent and LeTV will offer unprecedented coverage to millions of Chinese fans, broadcasting more than 689 games throughout the season.

CCTV 5 will broadcast the opening night doubleheader, tipping off the network's 28th year of NBA coverage. Following the Spurs-Mavericks matchup, Kobe Bryant will return to action with new teammate Jeremy Lin as the Los Angeles Lakers host James Harden, Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets at 10.30 a.m.

BesTV, GDTV, Sina and Tencent will also begin its NBA coverage on Oct. 29, and together with CCTV 5 will showcase a total of 17 games for Chinese fans during the opening week of the season.

Below is a list of the most highly anticipated television matchups during the NBA's opening week:

Wednesday, Oct. 29

· Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs on CCTV 5 and Tencent (8 a.m.)

· Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans on BesTV (8 a.m.)

· Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers on CCTV 5, GDTV and Sina (10.30 a.m.)

Thursday, Oct. 30

· Washington Wizards at Miami Heat on BesTV and Sina (7.30 a.m.)

· Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz on Tencent (9 a.m.)

· Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns on GDTV (10 a.m.)

Friday, Oct. 31

· Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves on BesTV (8 a.m.)

· New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers on Sina (8 a.m.)

· Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers on CCTV 5 (10.30 a.m.)

Saturday, Nov. 1

· Memphis Grizzlies at Indiana Pacers on BesTV (7 a.m.)

· Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls on CCTV 5 (8 a.m.)

· Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers on CCTV 5, GDTV and Sina (10.30 a.m.)

Sunday, Nov. 2

· Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets on BesTV (7 a.m.)

· Chicago Bulls at Minnesota Timberwolves on Sina (8 a.m.)

· Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors on CCTV 5 and GDTV (10.30 a.m.)

Monday, Nov. 3

· Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks on BesTV (8.30 a.m.)

· Golden State Warriors at Portland Trailblazers on Sina (10 a.m.)

Below is a look at the top storylines heading into the 2014-15 season:

· The San Antonio Spurs will aim to defend their title following a memorable run to the team's fifth championship last season. Head Coach Gregg Popovich kept last year's roster intact heading into 2014-15, with familiar faces Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili hoping to repeat as champions for the first time in their careers.

· Several NBA stars found new homes this summer, including LeBron James and Kevin Love signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Pau Gasol moves to the Eastern Conference after joining the Chicago Bulls, Paul Pierce brings his championship pedigree to an up-and-coming Washington Wizards squad, while Lance Stephenson headed to Charlotte as the franchise returns to its Hornets moniker. Chandler Parsons changed teams as well, although he didn't travel far, moving from Houston to in-state rival Dallas.

· Nine teams will feature new head coaches this season, with four of them set to make their NBA head coaching debuts. That foursome includes two former point guards, Golden State's Steve Kerr and New York's Derek Fisher, who combined to win 10 NBA championships during their careers. Cleveland hired David Blatt after a successful 20-year coaching career overseas, while Quin Snyder takes over in Utah following head coaching stints in college and the NBA Development League.

· The 2014 NBA Draft class enters the league with high expectations as a handful of rookies hope to make an immediate impact. No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins highlights an exciting Minnesota Timberwolves squad, while No. 2 selection Jabari Parker figures to play a vital role for Milwaukee and its new head coach, Jason Kidd. The Los Angeles Lakers' Julius Randle, Chicago's Doug McDermott, and Utah's Dante Exum are just a few of the talented rookies who will have the opportunity to shine in their first season.

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