The NBA schedule officially got released, and as expected, the Christmas Day lineup is highlighted by an NBA Finals rematch between the Warriors and Cavaliers.

In terms of league schedule releases, it’s fun to circle dates on the calendar and see when premier rivalry games get scheduled.

However, during an 82 game NBA season, every team in the league plays every other team in the league.

There’s no surprises, and no long awaited meetings between franchises who haven’t played each other in multiple years.

It’s why the NFL schedule being released is arguably the more anticipated event. An NFL franchise plays 6 division games, then gets 8 games against 2 divisions that alternate by year, and then 2 games against teams from 2 remaining divisions in their conference.

Clearly the NBA doesn’t operate that way. The Warriors don’t go multiple seasons without playing the Celtics, for example.

It’s also harder to predict the outcome of specific NBA games, because a grueling schedule leaves room for anomalous outcomes.

Nobody could have predicted that the Warriors would have lost to the Lakers last season, but it tends to even itself out over the course of the season. The Warriors beat the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, which in a vacuum probably shouldn’t have happened.

It’d be useless to analyze the potential outcome of every game months in advance due to these realities of the league.

However, based on the talent of this Warriors team, and factoring in additions and departures, a reasonable range of victories is probably somewhere from 65-75.

75 might seem like an absurd number to even contemplate, but this is a team that won 73 games last year and is getting Kevin Durant and Zaza Pachulia to replace Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut.

That upgrade might represent an extra 2 wins itself. Considering that the Durant/Pachulia combo combined for over 10 Win Shares more than the Barnes/Bogut combo last season, it doesn’t seem like too big of a stretch.

David West had more than 3 Win Shares more than Marreese Speights. The departures of Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli, and Brandon Rush need to be taken into account, but the point is that the numbers say an increase in wins from last season is extremely possible.

The Warriors will have a target on their back all season, and the league has made sure that as many people as possible will get to watch their most high profile games.

The Warriors will play the Thunder on Saturday, February 11th in primetime. It will be Durant’s first game in Oklahoma City since leaving as a free agent.

On Christmas Day, the Warriors will be playing the Cavaliers in Cleveland, and will host the Cavaliers in Oakland on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The schedulers also made an effort to reduce the number of back-to-backs for each team, ensuring that players remain fresher throughout the season.

The Warriors are one of the premier teams in the league, and the schedulers awarded them with several high profile appearances throughout the season.