Let the game begin!
While we've known since last week that the San Antonio Spurs will open their season at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 18, today the NBA released schedules for every team on Monday.
In all likelihood, it will be the final season for Manu Ginobili and the first for free agent acquisition Rudy Gay. So let's take a look at some of the highlights of this season's schedule:
The Houston Rockets series
The new-look Rockets who added Chris Paul this offseason will come to San Antonio with a chip on their shoulders. CP3 has minimal success against the Spurs in his career, although he had one of his best games when he eliminated the Spurs from the playoffs in 2015.
And the Rockets will have a playoff loss to the Spurs fresh on their minds as San Antonio won Games 5 and 6 despite playing without Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard.
Spurs at Rockets: December 15
Spurs vs. Rockets: February 1
Spurs at Rockets: March 12
Spurs vs. Rockets: April 1
The Golden State Warriors series
When the Warriors won an ESPY this year for Best Team, the three players that accepted the award were Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry... and Zaza Pachulia.
I'm not kidding.
Spurs fans know who the real MVP of that group is. The Spurs were dominating the Warriors into the second half of Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals series before Zaza just happened to walk under Kawhi Leonard's fragile ankle during a shot attempt that knocked Kawhi out for the series.
Zaza was injured in Game 2 of the series, so he didn't play at the AT&T Center in Games 3 and 4. No doubt Spurs fans will let him have it the first time he plays in San Antonio this upcoming season on November 2.
Spurs vs. Warriors: November 2
Spurs at Warriors: February 10
Spurs at Warriors: March 8
Spurs vs. Warriors: March 19
LeBron comes to town
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers always put on a great show when they play the Spurs. The last few years, that's been thanks to the presence of Kyrie Irving, but we don't know if he'll be with the Cavs by the time this game comes around.
Heck, he might even be in a Spurs uniform, for all we know.
In any case, the Spurs will host the Cavs on January 23, a showcase game on TNT. But the first of a back-to-back set for the Spurs.
Rodeo Road Trip
Last year's Rodeo Road Trip projected to be fairly easy and it played out that way, as the Spurs went 6-2 on their eight-game trip. This year, the Spurs will only play six games on their annual trip as they have an extended All-Star break.
The Spurs play on February 13 in Denver and don't play again until February 23 against those same Nuggets back in Denver.
Here's the Rodeo Road Trip schedule:
Feb. 7 at Suns
Feb. 10 at Warriors
Feb. 12 at Jazz
Feb. 13 at Nuggets
Feb. 23 at Nuggets
Feb. 25 at Cavs
Unlike last season, this is one of the tougher Rodeo Road Trips given that the Warriors and Cavaliers are both a part of the long trip. At least the two games will take place on opposite sides of the All-Star break.
Last home game
Circle this one on your calendar.
We don't know when or where Manu Ginobili will announce his retirement. We don't even know for sure if this is going to be his final season. But it certainly feels that way. And if Manu's healthy (and Pop doesn't sit him out), the final home game of the regular season will serve as a celebration of his career as Spurs fans get a chance to say thank you and possibly goodbye before the playoffs start.