As we prepare to start a new NBA season, we’ll take a look at the most intriguing matchups of the season’s opening week.
Tuesday, October 29
Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers, 7:00 pm EST, League Pass
Okay, so pitting the team with the worst record in the league against a team that has proved themselves to be a legitimate contender in the east isn’t a marquee matchup. It is, however, the first game of the regular season. Plus, Magic rookie Victor Oladipo is fun to watch.
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat, 8:00 pm EST, TNT
The 2010-111 MVP, point guard Derrick Rose, will be suiting up for the Chicago Bulls for the first time since the 2012 postseason. And he’s doing it against four-time MVP LeBrono James and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. It really doesn’t get much better
Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 pm EST, TNT
These two teams have seemingly switched roles. With Kobe Bryant aging and now injured, Chris Paul is becoming the king of L.A. The Clippers made a big splash in the offseason, hiring Doc Rivers as their head coach and bolstering their depth by bringing in several veterans, including guard J.J. Redick. The Lakers, on the other hand, lost a star when Dwight Howard signed with the Houston Rockets.
Wednesday, October 30
Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30 pm EST, NBATV
This is the first chance we’ll get to see the new-look Brooklyn. Nets. The Nets acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics. It will be interesting to see how they mesh with the Big Three the Nets already had in Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. The Nets also surprised many by hiring Jason Kidd as their head coach. You won’t see him Wednesday – he was suspended for the first two games after receiving a DUI. The Cavaliers, with a healthy Kyrie Irving, have an excellent chance to get back to the postseason.
Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 pm EST, League Pass
Two of the truly elite western conference teams will meet in a rematch of the 2013 Western Conference Finals. These two teams are certainly talented enough to meet in the conference finals again.
Thursday, October 31
New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls, 8:00 pm EST, TNT
The Knicks made a big move in the offseason when they acquired former #1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors. He’ll join a Knicks team that has a lot of players who are looking to shoot. It will be interesting to see how the Knicks use Bargnani and the oft-injured Amar’e Stoudemire. They won’t have J.R.
Smith. He’s been suspended for the first five games. Both of these squads lost in the second round of the playoffs last season.
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 pm EST, TNT
Wow, TNT has two awesome doubleheaders this week. The Warriors were a huge surprise last year. The team rode the shooting of their back court, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and the insane playoff performance of rookie Harrison Barnes to a first round win over the Denver Nuggets and into a competitive six game series with the Spurs. They’ll be tested by what appears to be a legitimate contender in the Clippers.
Friday, November 1
Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets, 8:00 pm EST, ESPN
LeBron James. Dwayne Wade. Chris Bosh. You don’t really need to explain why the Heat are interesting. The Nets, who hope they can play and potentially beat the Heat in the postseason, can begin to find out just how far away they are early mom.
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 pm EST, ESPN
Both of these teams have already appeared on this list, showing that each squad has a difficult start to the season. The Spurs are always excellent and have been a very fun, efficient offense despite what old stereotypes tell you. The Lakers, we’ll, probably wouldn’t be on this list much if they weren’t the Lakers.
Saturday, November 2
Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, 9:00 pm EST, League Pass
This will be Dwight Howard’s third game with the Rockets, but they appeared on this list for this game for a couple of reasons. First of all, the slate isn’t all that great. Second, it will be fun to see how Utah’s young duo of Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors handle replacing veterans Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who left for the Charlotte Bobcats and Atlanta. Hawks, respectively. Their first test in Howard, could be their toughest of the season.
Sunday, November 3
Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder, 7:00 pm EST, NBATV
Okay. It’s been pretty clear the Suns are tanking for some time. It became even more obvious when they sent Marcin Gortat to Washington last week. It will be interesting to see how Eric Bledsoe, who the Suns acquired from the Clippers in the offseason, performs in a full time roll. Rookie Alex Len is a very skilled offensive big man. The Thunder are an NBA title contender, maybe even the favorite to come out of the west. They have two of the game’s top six scorers last season in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. However, with Westbrook still recovering from his injury, it’s going to be the Kevin Durant show.
And that’s going to be really fun.