The official 2012-13 NBA Schedule was just released which means right before we devote the next two weeks of our lives to the London Olympics, we can get a quick taste of what lies ahead of that and the NBA season, in chronological order. Don’t forget to weigh in an let us know which games you consider to be the most intriguing of the upcoming season.
October 30th, 2012: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat — 8pm ET on TNT
The NBA kicks off with a doozy of a game in South Beach. The obvious storyline that will be beaten to death in the pre-game is that this will be Ray Allen’s first game against his former team. To add to the mix the two teams are currently molten hot rivals as they’ve had heated playoff series that last two seasons. The Heat will be getting their Championship rings before the game so expect the Celtics to want to spoil their night. It should be a fitting start to a great NBA season.
November 1st, 2012: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets — 8pm ET on TNT
It’ll mark the first time a professional sports team has played a true home game in Brooklyn since the Dodgers left in 1957. Now, over 50 years later, sports has returned to one of New York’s most famous Burroughs. And the occasion will be marked by New York’s favorite basketball team ushering the Nets in. Amare, Melo and the Lin-sanityless Knicks will travel to the Barclays Center to take on the closest thing to a Big 3 New York has seen in recent history. Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez will start what they hope is a journey deep into the NBA playoffs and the start of something really special. For fans in Brooklyn, win or lose, it’s going to be a sight for extremely sore eyes to see professional sports back on the block and it will be an event etched in sports history.
November 8th, 2012: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trailblazers — 10:30pm ET on TNT
I’m going out on a huge limb here, but we may have a pretty good rivalry on our hand here with the Clippers and the Blazers. Like the Clippers, the Blazers have always been a step shy of being a really good basketball team. Now they have Damian Lillard who very well could be the Rookie of the Year (I’m already out on the limb so why not). This could be a Boston-Miami like rivalry where although they’re not in the same division, we could very well see some seriously entertaining matchups in the near future. And that includes (because I’m already on the very end o this limb I’m on) some playoffs games.
November 21st, 2012: Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder — 7:30pm on ESPN
This is a game that could very well one day be a Western Conference Finals matchup. The Clippers finally have things going in the right direction with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, But they’re going to run into a juggernaut in the Oklahoma City Thunder and their championship caliber core. Kevin Durant is going to be going hard after an MVP trophy and every spotlight game he gets, expect him to bring it extra hard. This is going to shape up to be one of those Bulls-Pacers rivalries of the Western Conference where one team is clearly superior, but the matchup is always up in the air.
December 17th, 2012: Houston Rockets at New York Knicks — 7:30pmET on NBA TV
This may be a footnote game to some NBA fans but for Knicks fans, this is like LeBron coming back to Cleveland. There was insane backlash to Lin picking up and moving on to Houston and when he comes back to Madison Square Garden, don’t expect fans to be civil. Knicks fans a re a crazy and often times irrational bunch. So all those legions of fans that came up with the clever and slightly racist yet cute signs will drop the cuteness from their act and the fangs will come out.
December 25th, 2012: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat — 5:30pm on ABC
This is the best game of the schedule by far. Christmas has always been a day that feature marquee games but nothing tops a rematch of last years Finals in Miami. Heat “fans” are out in force since their “team” won the title last year and they’re going to fill AmericanAirlines Arena not only because it’s the popular, hot ticket item of the day but because we finally have a Bird-Magic matchup for our age. Durant-James will always be an event when they clash and nothing will be bigger than the duo going at it on Christmas with all eyes watching. The race to the MVP will officially begin on Christmas as form there on out the two will be vigorously compared to each other.
January 30th, 2013: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns — 10:30pm ET on ESPN
Steve Nash returns to Phoenix in a Laker uniform, something no one thought they’d ever see. But on January 30th, the world will finally see the matchup that should never have been. The Suns, though, improved a lot this offseason which means on paper, it’s looking like the matchup won’t be as one sided as initially thought. By this time in the season, we should have a good idea of how well the Lakers are gelling and if their record isn’t stellar, they’ll be subject to much scrutiny. If they are underperforming, don’t be surprised if ESPN goes overboard on the “Steve Nash would rather be in Phoenix” bit.
February 10th, 2013: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat — 3:30pm ET on ABC
It’s a cost-to-coast rivalry that only has a few years loft of relevance. Once the Lakers lose Kobe Bryant to either free agency or retirement, interest in the Lakers is going to nose dive the way the Chicago Bulls imploded int he post-Jordan years. But there is still time to enjoy the Lakers with Kobe for at least one more season and this may be the last time he plays LeBron in a Lakers uniform. It’ll also be Steve Nash’s first game against the Big 3 in a Lakers uniform which is going to be a very interesting matchup. Norris Cole is going to have his hands full against one of the league’s best point guards.
February 14th, 2013: Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder — 8:00pm on TNT
It’s part two of their epic and growing rivalry and at this point, more about where they stand in their respective conferences will be known. More importantly, David Stern may break a record for number of couples broken up on a single day as he scheduled the game on Valentines Day. There probably won’t ever be a time that these games will be boring, save for a Derrick Rose-like injury to either LeBron or Durant that holds them out of the game. One player will move a step closer to the MVP in the eyes of critics but we have to wait a half a year to find out who.
March 27th, 2013: Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls — 8:00pm on ESPN
This game will only be intriguing if one thing happens: Derrick Rose returns to the Bulls lineup. Chances are that Chicago will be down in the dumps at this point if things don’t click and given the fact that the Heat now have a free ride to the top of the Eastern Conference, it’ll be the first time the two teams meet without serious implications on the standings. But this very well could be Derrick Rose’s return from his ACL injury and what a way to etch even more mythical Rose-lore in Chicago then to have his triumphant return against the Heat where he lead them to victory like fans are used to.