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10 NBA games this season you don’t want to miss

Jul 26, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Anthony is guarded by Miami Heat's James during the fourth quarter in Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference first round basketball playoff series in Miami Reuters

There are a lot of interesting things in the just released NBA schedule. The Spurs have two long road trips, not just the one “rodeo trip.” The Lakers “Grammys trip” includes games against Boston and closes in Miami. And the list goes on and on.

But after combing threw it for a few hours, here are the 10 days and games you should circle on the calendar. Or set the DVR for. Note, there are no Bulls games, but if you are psychic and know the date of Derrick Rose‘s return add that as a bonus.

Oct. 30, Celtics at Heat:
One of the NBA’s better rivalries right now. They went seven games in the Eastern Conference finals and then both teams made moves to get better in the offseason — including Ray Allen taking less money to go to Miami over staying in Boston. The Celtics should be seething by the time they see the banner and the rings Miami has.

Nov. 1, Knicks at Nets:
The Nets requested the league give them the Knicks to open the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn, and once again what Jay-Z wants Jay-Z gets. This should be a monster, start-studded affair. And with two teams that will put a lot of points on the board the game should be entertaining, too.

Nov. 2, Nuggets at Magic:
How much you want to watch this game depends on one thing — do the Magic trade Dwight Howard before the start of the season? If the answer is no this is their home opener and you can bet the usually laid-back fans of Orlando will boo Howard lustily.

Dec. 17, Rockets at Knicks:
This is simple — Jeremy Lin returns to New York. If Lin puts up big numbers and outplays Raymond Felton, the tabloids are going to have fodder for weeks.

Dec. 25, Thunder at Heat:
While it ended in five games, this was a hard-fought finals last year (four of the games were very close). Both of the teams got a little better in the off-season, and we may have another NBA finals preview on our hands.

Jan. 17, Heat at Lakers:
Or, this could be a finals preview. The Lakers need more outside shooting and we’ll have to see how Mike Brown blends some diverse offensive talents, but the Lakers are back in the conversation. Plus, LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant.

Jan. 27, Heat at Celtics:
Ray Allen returns to Boston. He will receive a hero’s welcome… or, something like that. There will be salutes, we just don’t know how many fingers will be involved.

Jan. 30, Lakers at Suns:
Steve Nash returns to Phoenix. Nash handled his departure from Phoenix about as well and professionally as he could and Suns fans forgave him… until he chose to go to the Lakers. It will be interesting to see the fan’s reactions.

Feb. 7, Lakers at Celtics:
Always a classic. Still the NBA’s best rivalry.

March 13, Knicks at Denver:
Carmelo Anthony returns to Denver. Seriously, he has never been back to Denver as a Knick. Not in the second half of the season he was traded, not in the lockout shortened season, and now not for the first four months of this coming season. My guess is the people in Denver have not forgotten him and how that relationship ended.

  1. cakemixa - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Common theme here? Every one of your “top 10 games” includes one or more of the following 5 teams: Celtics, Heat, Knicks, Magic, or Lakers. Are small markets ever going to be popular in the NBA?

    • findthetruth90 - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:07 PM

      Not until a small market team gets good even though I feel with Brandon Roy in the mix Minnasota should be more looked at.

    • findthetruth90 - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      And you named Orlando which is a small market and will be when crybaby Dwight leaves

    • eureca323 - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:33 PM

      Magic and Heat are big markets?

    • therealhtj - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      OKC’s as popular and podunk as it gets. So what’s your point?

    • cosanostra71 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:10 PM

      when I think big market, I think Oklahoma City.

    • snoopy2014 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM

      Here, let’s do a simple test:

      Jan. 19, Kings at Bobcats.

      Did your heart just skip a beat? Feel that adrenaline rush at the thought of watching such high-level NBA talent?

      • simonwelds - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Isnt that the play-in game for the big dance?

    • nepatriots128154 - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Newsflash: no one wants to watch Golden State at Milwaukee

      • hodaghunter - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        I do

  2. diabloryno - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    I don’t want to see Orlando with or without Howard and regardless who they are playing.

  3. tannethrill - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Should have just done a top 5 Heat games this year, you’re only short 1 lol

  4. worldbfree4me - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Too many games IMHO. Last season worked for me and I presume alot of fans. I am afraid that I will have to go back my old way of watching only the first 20 and the final 20 and perhaps the All Star Weekend. The games in between are simply irrelevant or insignificant. Last season’s games meant more because of the condensed season. Best Regards NBA

  5. habibthomas - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    ASSUMING the star players ln these games dont get injured…

  6. rocketsbb - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Okc isn’t a big market lol. Rockets, phoenix, Denver, Orlando,Miami aren’t big markets either…

    • momo988 - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Houston is the 4th biggest city in the US. If that isn’t a big market, then neither is anything not named LA, Chicago or NY.

  7. redstar504 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    What no Clippers vs. Hornets you think Jason Smith extracting a measure of revenge on Blake Griffin for CP3’s defection was fun enough wait till you toss Anthony Davis into the mix

    Side note ……. That was a cheep promo by me and I don’t condone taking a player out like Smith did with Blake but the budding rivalry between the Clips and Bees is pretty good intense in season basketball. Considering the youngness of the two teams it is one sure to last as well. I like the way that rivalry projects into the future so hey maybe it makes the list next year right?

    Second side note…I still miss CP3 but it’s gonna feel good to get a win against him.

  8. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Not one of these games means anything. They have entertainment value, of course; but other than that, they don’t mean nuthin’.

    • snoopy2014 - Jul 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM

      Sure they do. Regular season record determines playoff entrance/seeding, draft seeding, or lottery likelihoods. I find it amusing when supposed hardcore NBA fans try to minimize the regular season.

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      As an NBA fan from an early age I actually like the regular season more than the postseason. All my memories of going to games and becoming a fan are in the regular season, sitting far back watching the bullets and wizards. Not everyone has $1000 to go to a playoff game.

      The playoffs are important to make sure that the teams are trying hard and playing for something, but the regular season is what I think it’s all about. Everything in sports is about winning a championship and nothing else matters, but I like being able to turn on the TV every night and choose between a few games and just watch good basketball.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      I wasn’t clear. Not saying Regular Season is meaningless. Of course playoff seading is inportant. What I’m saying is it doesn’t matter who wins any/all of the games listed here. If Boston beats Miami on October 30, what difference does it make? It’ll be fun to watch, but by the time October 31 rolls around, nobody will care/remember.

  9. heathater4lifeson - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Rocketsbb Houston is the 4th largest city in the country. And they got j Lin, they just opened up the chinese market baby!

    • rtfinch - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      lin isnt chinese……

  10. reduser1 - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    could the lakers beat the heat if they get dwight howard? absolutely.

    could they get past the thunder first? absolutely not.

    howard admits kendrick perkins is the the only defender that can shut him down. westbrook will torch nash’s pathetic defense. sefolosha defends kobe as well as anyone can (which, admittedly, isn’t all that well, even though kobe is getting older). ibaka is spending the whole summer on spains olympic team going against pau gasol and learning how to defend him. and in any deal that brings howard to the lakers, ron artest will almost certainly have to be amnestied to make the numbers work, which means the lakers would have absolutely no one to defend durant. and this is before we get into how superior the thunder’s bench is, led by james harden and a healthy eric maynor (not to mention what perry jones might bring).

    “or this could be a finals preview”? sorry, not buying it. unfortunately for the lakers they may have a team that can beat the heat, but accidentally put together the thunder’s dream wcf opponent.

  11. reduser1 - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    and for real, three knicks games and only one thunder game? i guess melo’s selfish jump shooting ass and amare’s broke ass knees are three times more exciting than the second best player in the world, the most explosive point guard in the world, the best shot blocker in the world, and the best beard in the universe. moron

  12. congocash - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    I dont dvr games… All my miss universe pageants have first priority on the hard drive.

  13. halfbaht - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Clippers vs Lakers isn’t one of the top 10? The Clippers are up and coming and so far this offseason, roster wise, they’re looking stronger as they ever have. Unlike the Lakers who are getting weaker and weaker as a whole. Battle for Los Angeles will be hotter than ever this year, yet it’s off your list? Maybe it’s just because I like the idea of the Lakers getting beaten by their “little brother” the Clippers. I just like the idea of Lakers losing in general. Probably because #iamaceltic

  14. fincity305 - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:32 AM

    Call me in the finals.. Or rematch should I say

  15. funkdocsneaka - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Finals preview already. Thanks Nostradouche.

  16. pistolpete0903 - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Not one with the Unibrow??
    A consensus top pick and no love from the association!!! ain’t seem right

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