Dec 6, 2011, 8:36 PM EST
We’re not so presumptuous as to tell you what to watch… well, yes we are.
There is an NBA schedule littered with good games worth watching that was just released today. What follows are the games that leapt off the page at us as ones not to miss.
Dec. 25: Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks: A rematch of the NBA finals from last year. Plus, enjoy the look on LeBron James’ face as he watches Dallas raise a championship banner to the rafters (for LeBron haters that may be the best Christmas gift of all).
Dec. 25: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers: We know the Bulls will play hard and defend, but we don’t know what the Lakers will look like under Mike Brown. Or who their center will be for that game.
Dec. 25: Orlando Magic at Oklahoma City Thunder: Do we get to see Dwight Howard vs. Kendrick Perkins in the post? My guess is we do (if Howard is traded it will be later, closer to the deadline) but what kind of mental state will the Magic be in? And how much have the Thunder improved?
Dec. 27: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat: This is the first of four meetings between the old guard and new guard of the East.
Jan. 10: Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies: Battle of the “teams of the future” in the West.
Jan. 14: New Jersey Nets at Utah Jazz: Deron Williams makes his return to Utah. The people of Salt Lake City do know how to boo. Trust me.
Jan. 16: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers: Last time these two met the Mavs unceremoniously swept the Lakers out of the playoffs. You know that stuck in Kobe Bryant’s craw — and he has a history of going off on the Mavs for big numbers.
Jan. 16: Chicago Bulls at Memphis Grizzlies: Memphis is playing on Martin Luther King day. The Grizzlies are going to be a team to watch this year, and here is a big test against an elite team.
Jan. 25: Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers: The “battle for Los Angeles” is actually interesting now. Plus, Blake Griffin will dunk on someone.
Jan. 28: Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz: Jimmer Fredettte returns to Utah for a game. (He does it again March 30.)
Jan. 29: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat: Last year’s Eastern Conference finalists square off, and late enough in the season that we might be able to read a little bit into this one.
Feb. 16: Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls: Bet the under in the battle of the former best defensive team in the league and the new best defensive team in the league.
Feb. 20: Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls: On Presidents Day you can catch President Obama’s hometown Bulls in action. And Al Horford, who is a good reason to watch the Hawks.
March 4: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat: By then the rosters of these teams will be set and they should be in a groove. This will be a good test for where these contenders stand heading into the playoffs.
March 11: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers: These franchises still hate each other.
March 17: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks: Who is the best team in Texas… sorry Rockets fans, unless you get Chris Paul you’re not in the conversation.
March 29: Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat: Dallas returns to the place they won the title and Heat fans pretend this somehow counts as revenge.
April 20: Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs: Will either of the West’s old guard be on a roll with the playoffs around the corner?
April 28: The playoffs open, and then every game is must watch.
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- Thursday night NBA Grades: Mike Woodson is allowed to exhale 4
- Knicks snap nine-game losing streak by crushing depleted Nets 5
- David Stern issues statement on passing of Nelson Mandela, players take to twitter 6
- Kobe Bryant sounds close to return, will not offer specific date 5
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (64)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (42)
- Michael Beasley finding a role, groove in Miami (41)
- Dwight Howard frustrated with Rockets’ effort in recent losses (39)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (38)