NBA: Everything you need to know about the 2016-17 season

LeBron James
LeBron James (centre) has won three NBA titles, two with Miami Heat and last season's championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers

The new NBA season begins on Tuesday - or the early hours of Wednesday morning, UK time - as defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers host the New York Knicks.

Over the next six months, 30 teams from across the United States and Canada will battle it out to reach the finals next June.

LeBron James' Cavaliers will be hoping to win a second successive title but will face competition from Stephen Curry's record-breaking Golden State Warriors, who will be looking to bounce back from last season's final defeat.

Can Cleveland do it again?

The Cavaliers became the first team to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven NBA finals as they beat favourites Golden State to win their first championship.

The win ended the city's 52-year wait for a major sporting title.

They were led by their 31-year-old talisman LeBron who in August agreed a reported $100m (£77.2m) three-year contract, making him the NBA's highest paid player.

LeBron, four times the NBA's most valuable player, won two championships for the Miami Heat before returning to the Cavaliers in 2014.

The Cavaliers are tipped to be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference and with LeBron and point guard Kyrie Irving in their ranks, are much fancied for a quick return to the finals.

"It's the same mindset: Let's win a championship," James said.

"We just want to be able to put ourselves in position to do that. We have the ability, we have the personnel, but we have to work now. We can't expect for it to happen just like we didn't expect for it to happen last year. We put the time into it."

Wednesday marks a historic sporting day in Cleveland as the Cavaliers will receive their championship rings before taking on the Knicks (01:00 BST), while next door at Progressive Field, the Cleveland Indians will host game one of the World Series as they try to win baseball's biggest prize for the first time since 1948.

Will the Warriors bounce back?

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry
Durant and Curry will be hoping to lead the Warriors to the title this season

The 2015 champions set a regular season record last season, winning 73 out of 82 games, beating the mark set by Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls side in 1995-96.

But they lost three in a row for the first time since 2013 as they relinquished their 3-1 lead in the finals.

"I don't want to walk in the door thinking about game seven," last season's regular season MVP Curry said.

"But you should remember how you felt walking off the floor. You should remember all you did all summer to get yourself in a better position individually and collectively."

Curry underperformed in the finals and will be hoping to return to the scoring exploits that put the 27-year-old top of the charts for points, assists and steals. He also led the stats for free-throw percentage.

The Warriors have strengthened with the addition of Kevin Durant, who joined from the Oklahoma City Thunder in July and averaged 28.2 points per game last season.

Curry and Olympic gold medallists Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are expected to dominate the Western Conference and are an early pick to add another championship ring to their collection.

No Kobe but Deng hopes to make an impact

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final game in April

For the first time in 20 years, the Los Angeles Lakers will line up without Kobe Bryant.

The 38-year-old retired last season after winning five championships and finishing third on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

The Lakers recorded their worst ever season last time out, with 65 losses and 17 wins.

But they have recruited British forward Luol Deng, with the 31-year-old joining from the Miami Heat on a four-year deal worth $72m (£55m) in July.

"It's a new chapter for me. This is my 13th year now. I'm looking forward to being a part of it and leading the young guys," Deng said.

How it works

The 30-team league is split geographically into the Eastern and Western conference and then into six divisions. In the West there is the Northwest, Pacific and Southwest divisions. In the East teams play in the Atlantic, Central and Southeast division.

Each team plays 82 games in the regular season, to try to qualify for the play-offs, held in April and May, with the champion of each conference facing off in the finals in June.

The league holds games on Christmas Day, a tradition that goes back to 1947.

The annual All-Star game, involving the league's best players, will be held on 19 February in New Orleans.

It was originally planned to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, but was moved after state legislators introduced laws that limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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