The NBA schedule was released yesterday and much like every season, many have already circled the games they are most looking forward to. From storylines to key match ups, each of the pairings on this list have key elements that will bring viewers to the TV sets.
Here is my list for the top-10 most must-see NBA games for the 2013-14 season.
10. Golden State @ Los Angeles Clippers – Thursday, October 31
This game features the two most entertaining rosters in the NBA. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and now, Andre Iguodala vs Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan and J.J. Redick – I could keep going, but It think you get the jest of this match up.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Clippers– November 13
This is what I like to call the future game. The future of the Western Conference, which is the kind of taking over now. The two best teams, in my opinion, in the West square off to establish early conference supremacy. It also features the intriguing match up between Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook – the battle contracting styles.
Game 8, the NBA Finals rematch. In what was perhaps the best Finals in who knows how long, the Spurs and Heat look to rekindle the rivalry after the epic NBA Finals. Will Coach Gregg Popovich play his starters? Will Eric Spoelstra? Perhaps another chess match ensues and we end up watching James Jones vs Marco Belinelli? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
7. Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder – December 29
This time, James Harden has a friend. Harden returns to his old stomping grounds, perhaps at an even playing field. Dwight Howard will attempt to help Harden stick it to the Thunder once again. Also, Westbrook will get another shot at Patrick Beverley, who “accidently” injured the former UCLA guard in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs in a freak play, sidelining him for the rest of the way. JUSTICE FOR EVERYONE.
6. Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers – December 10
The Pacers are begging for a seat at the big boys table. Last year, in the Eastern Conference Finals, they nearly stole one away from Miami’s Big Three. The Heat will be looking to put the brakes on the optimism for the Pacers, plus they get to silence the critiques about how they struggle with size. Will Greg Oden break the rotation by the time this match up comes around? If so, it would be interesting to see how he plays against Roy Hibbert – possibly the best big going in the game right now.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett return to Boston. This match up has everything. It will be emotional, historic and emotional. Oh, I already said that? But yeah, it’s going to be emotional. We will remember this game for years to come. The crowd is going to give their respects to Pierce and Garnett, especially Pierce. Before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, Pierce had spent all of his first 15 seasons of his NBA career in Boston. This should be good. CHILLS.
4. New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets – December 5
This is setting up to be one heck of a game. Both teams have been sending subtle zingers at each other throughout the offseason, this will be the first battle between the two teams in the regular season. The Nets have improved greatly, on paper, but an early win against a solid team such as the Knicks will quiet those naysayers. Perhaps, a playoff preview? Ok, now I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
3. Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers – Feb 19
Superman returns. After spurning the Los Angeles Lakers, for a better opportunity to win in Houston, Dwight Howard returns to his Dwightmare. I’m sure Howard, much like the rest of us, would like to simply forget his year in LA, but that’s just not possible. The Lakers fans won’t help either. Expect a lot of boos.
2. Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers – October 29
Mamba’s return. According to early reports, Kobe Bryant is on schedule to be ready by opening night, possibly pre season. So why should I have it any different. It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of role Kobe has on this team. Starter? Sixth man? Player-coach? OK, just kidding about that last one, but Kobe’s return is one of the most highly anticipated games entering next season. No doubt.
1. Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat – October 29
Rose’s return. It seems like the last time Rose played in an NBA game, gas was just a dollar. That’s not entirely true, but it has been a long while since the last time Derrick Rose, a former League MVP, was starting for the Chicago Bulls. To make matters more interesting, his return happens to be against the defending champs on banner night. If Rose still actually thinks he’s the best player in the NBA, he’ll have the perfect platform to prove it.