Games To Watch
The new beast of the East will be front and center on ESPN to start the NBA's 2004-05 regular season.
ESPN networks will televise 72 regular-season games -- 65 on ESPN and seven on ESPN2. ABC Sports will have 18 games, with five weekends of regional coverage. The NBA released its schedule on Monday.
The defending champion Detroit Pistons tip off the league's 59th season on Nov. 2 when they play the Houston Rockets at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The date will be highlighted by Detroit's ring ceremony as well as Tracy McGrady's regular-season debut with Houston.
ESPN's Nov. 3 doubleheader concludes with the Lakers taking on the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center (10:30 p.m. ET).
The NBA on ESPN Radio's 30-game regular-season schedule debuts with two games during opening week -- Rockets-Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers -Heat on Nov. 4. The NBA on ESPN Radio also will carry all of the events from the 2005 All-Star Game in Denver.
ABC Sports will broadcast the NBA Finals, which start on June 9, for the third straight season. This season, ESPN will be the exclusive network for the West finals, with the East finals airing on TNT.
The best of the batch this season, as ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein sees it:
Nov. 2, Opening Night
Nov. 3, Miami at New Jersey; Washington at Memphis
Nov. 4, Washington at Charlotte
Nov. 13, L.A. Lakers at Houston
Nov. 16, Phoenix at Dallas
Nov. 25, Happy Thanksgiving
Nov. 26, Sacramento at L.A. Lakers
Nov. 26, Miami at Detroit
Dec. 25, Detroit at Indiana
Dec. 25, Miami at L.A. Lakers
Jan. 20, Houston at Orlando
Jan. 21, Indiana at Miami
Jan. 24, Orlando at Houston
Feb. 10, L.A. Lakers at Detroit
Feb. 13, Denver at New Jersey
March 15, Utah at Cleveland
March 17, L.A. Lakers at Miami
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