For the first time in four years, the Golden State Warriors will enter the upcoming NBA season as something less than prohibitive championship favorites. Steve Kerr’s team, in fact, isn’t even among the handful of teams most consider likeliest to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy next June, relegated to the status of sub-contender following the departure of Kevin Durant and an injury to Klay Thompson that will sideline him through the All-Star break. Just because the Warriors’ dynasty is over, though, hardly means you’ll be seeing any less of them.
According to an analysis of the newly-released 2019-20 schedule done by veteran NBA writer Jared Dubin, Golden State is set for 42 appearances on nationally-televised broadcasts this season, second-most in the league behind the Los Angeles Lakers.
National TV breakdown for all 30 teams. (ABC included this time, apologies.) Lakers have the most, Cavs and Hornets the least. pic.twitter.com/7yA3Ku5RpP
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) August 12, 2019
Rounding out the top-five in national TV games are the LA Clippers, Houston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers, each of whom will play on ESPN, ABC, TNT, or NBATV at least 38 times this season. The Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers have the fewest amount of nationally-televised games with three, followed by the Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, and Washington Wizards.
It makes sense that the Warriors would receive so much time in front of a national audience. Steph Curry is arguably the most popular player in the league, after all, and poised for a huge season due to the increased offensive burden he’ll shoulder without Durant and Thompson. The Lakers’ status as top TV dogs is even less surprising. Their fan base is the biggest in basketball, and Los Angeles, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, has a better chance to win a championship this season than in any since 2012-13.