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Ten can’t miss games for upcoming NBA season

Aug 14, 2014, 1:05 AM EDT

The NBA regular season schedule came out Wednesday, all 1,230 games. Even with live streaming and an empty DVR ready to be filled up, I’m not going to watch all of them. Nobody will watch all of them.

That said, there are some great games coming up. Homecomings and rivalries, plus just matchups of great basketball teams.

You can’t watch them all but there are some you can’t miss. Here are my 10 can’t miss games of the NBA season.

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers, Oct. 28
There are sub-plots to watch here, Jeremy Lin playing against his old team and Dwight Howard getting booed again by Lakers fans… but that’s not why any of us will be watching. Kobe Bryant will be back on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers and any time he steps on the court we watch. Right now we will be watching because we’re not sure what Kobe we will see, how much he has left in the tank, but we will watch. He is one of the all-time greats.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls, Oct. 31
You could argue that the first games for these teams are bigger — LeBron James’ first game at home in Cleveland, Derrick Rose’s return to the NBA comes in Madison Square Garden — but this is the first of four meetings between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference (on paper) and that is worth seeing. Cleveland has more talent but the Bulls have an identity and players that fit it. To be fair, this game will not mean much if/when these two teams meet in the Eastern Conference Finals, but it’s our first glimpse into what could be one of the best rivalries of the next five years in the NBA.

Cleveland Cavaliers at San Antonio Spurs, Nov. 19
LeBron’s last team got smoked by Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and the gang in San Antonio, so LeBron went out and got some new teammates like Kyrie Irving and soon Kevin Love. This should be interesting, although the Spurs will play their same system and know exactly how to execute it while it’s going to take the Cavaliers some time to figure it out.

Milwaukee Bucks at Minnesota Timberwolves, Nov. 26
Once the Kevin Love trade goes down (and it will), this game becomes the first between No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins and No. 2 pick Jabari Parker. Both rookies are in situations where they should get a lot of minutes and plenty of touches. Both are going to get the chance to grow in the spotlight

Cavaliers at Thunder at Oklahoma City, Dec. 11
LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant. The two best players on the planet go head-to-head and the best part about these match ups is they often guard each other. It is a true head-to-head matchup.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat, Dec. 25
LeBron returns to Miami for the first time in a Cavs uniform (this time around, anyway). You can expect he will get a warmer reception than the vitriol thrown at him four years ago when LeBron in a Heat uniform came to play the Cavaliers. Now all of that is forgotten. Miami is going to be a pretty good team and one that wants to keep playing the space and pace offense. We’ll see how LeBron does against it.

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, December 25
This is the game to watch on your new 60-inch smart TV you just got for Christmas. This if the final of five games on the Christmas Day slate and it should be a very entertaining one. There will be lobs, dunks and rainbow threes. Stephen Curry vs Chris Paul. David Lee vs. Blake Griffin. Klay Thompson vs. J.J. Redick. This is the game Santa is bringing die hard NBA fans.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Minnesota Timberwolves, Jan. 31
Kevin Love returns home to Minnesota. It will be interesting to see how he is received — it won’t be exactly with open arms and a dozen roses, but I doubt the booing will last all game, either. Also in this game, Andrew Wiggins gets a shot at LeBron.

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, March 25

Well done by the schedule makers putting these two teams against each other a couple times late in the season (they also face off April 7). These might be your two favorites to win the NBA title (not what the bookmakers say, the actual favorites), they were the two best teams in basketball at the end of last season. The interesting question is who Gregg Popovich sits for both of these games.

Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors, March 27
I just hope Steve Nash can play one last game in Canada. Nash is one of the great point guards of all time and the best Canadian player ever, I hope his body lets him play one last game in his home country.

  1. gameisours - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:56 AM

    Tell me how Spurs vs Mavs is not better.

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      because it isn’t better

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      @ game

      he didn’t say it wasn’t better.

      he said these were HIS ten can’t miss games. there is a difference.

      you are free to include it in YOUR ten games you can’t miss

      his words were “Here are my 10 can’t miss games of the NBA season”

      and before that, he said this “You can’t watch them all but there are some you can’t miss”

      he was NOT trying to say these were THE top ten, just his top ten and some games we shouldn’t miss.

      there isn’t one list of top ten games that would satisfy all of us anyway, you’re free to add the Mavs Spurs to your own list.

      • alfiemonstaa - Aug 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        BOI STFU

  2. saint1997 - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:07 AM

    Mavs are going to be an incredible team next season I’m surprised you didn’t have them on the list. Also I think a Wizards Raptors showdown of the two next best teams in the East after the Cavs and Bulls is well worth a watch

    • libertyman62 - Aug 14, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      I hope you’re right about the Mavs. This looks like it is going to be an exciting regular season for the NBA, & I’m counting down the days for it to begin!

  3. greenandgoldgirl - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:08 AM

    There are more teams in the league than Cleveland. Of all those games 5 are Cavs games. I thought this was still the NBA not the NLBJA. Sad.

    • apkyletexas - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      You thought wrong. Sincerely, the King.

  4. mungman69 - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    Everyone wants to see James. Doesn’t anyone want to watch the Sixers at Pacers opening night?

    • tcclark - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:08 AM

      I do… Lavoy Allen against his old team. The tension is gonna be huge.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        Thanks for that one bro, that started my day off right! LOL

    • libertyman62 - Aug 14, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      No we don’t.

      There are too many other teams & superstars that are just as much fun to watch as LeBron, if not even more (the incredible team basketball that the Spurs played in the Finals as they blew out LeBron & the Heat, for example).

  5. remyje - Aug 14, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    “Once the Kevin Love trade goes down (and it will)”

    remember what happen when you were so sure Lebron was staying in Miami?

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      this is different.

  6. Eutaw's Finest - Aug 14, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    May as well just post the entire Cavs schedule as the can’t miss games of the year since that seems to be the trend.

  7. ravenswhat - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    Kobe on his best night will always be better than Lebron on his best night. Kiss the rings Lebron. Kobe and Mike did it their way and they NEVER gave up at the end of a game like Lebron has done.

    • engh533 - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:19 AM

      You are a very unknowledgeable hater!!!! How can you say someone gave up…by doing that you are taking away credit from other team and BTW it is a team sport so if you want to point the finger at Lebron then maybe just maybe you should point it at the entire team not just LEBRON…because the last I checked basketball is a TEAM sport…ie see with the Spurs!!

    • clevelandrox - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      ‘NEVER’…. LOL you must be a young buck and dont remember he did in a game SEVEN of the 1st rd against the Suns when Kobe pulled the unthinkable and played the pouty child… couldnt believe my eyes…

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      Oh the “More rings” argument. Brilliant!

  8. alfiemonstaa - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    smfh Mavs ALWAYS get no type of attention.

    Mavs vs Spurs on opening night is waaaaay better than a washed up lakers team vs a no bench rockets

  9. canucks30 - Aug 14, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    LeBron James

  10. philliesblow - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    I thought for sure that Rodney Stuckey’s return to Auburn Hills would be included.

  11. sisisisisisisi - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    crossing my fingers that this site won’t imitate espn, where they live and breathe lebron

    espn will inundated many of us poor souls with lebron, I am surprise that they haven’t change the “Miami Heat Index” to something lebron related

    GO MAVS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • libertyman62 - Aug 14, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      MAVS, BABY!!! All the way to becoming the 2015 NBA Champs.

  12. Zammael - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Interesting. 7 of the 10 games take place in the first two months, but only 3 for the remaining 6 months?

  13. samsonight1010 - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Half of these games involve the cavs, gotta love lebron

  14. sisisisisisisi - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    a total disrespectful for the World Champions Spurs, who trashed lebron and co. as all of us had winessed

    2 games for the lottery Lakers? buh please!

    watch for Mavs @Spurs 10/28 & Mavs @Rockets 11/22

  15. sportsfan18 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    He didn’t say there weren’t 11 or 12 or more can’t miss games…

    He said here are 10 can’t miss games.

    He didn’t say these were the top ten can’t miss games, just that these were 10 can’t miss games.

    There ARE more than 10 ya’ll…

    So you may add your Mavs and Spurs and other match ups you see fit.

    Can’t write an article for 10 (not top ten, jut ten he said) can’t miss games and include 13 games

    Put it this way folks, if ANY of you were to list 10 can’t miss games, OTHERS would say how could you leave such and such game out of your list?

    you KNOW this yet you still gripe when you couldn’t make a list of 10 games and not receive complaints about it either.

    lighten up ya’ll

    OH, he said that these were HIS can’t miss games.

    ya’ll think you get to tell him what games he wants to see?

    how would you like to be told what to do? (democrats don’t need to rely as Obama has already spoken for you)

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      “democrats don’t need to rely as Obama has already spoken for you”


    • alfiemonstaa - Aug 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM


      BOI STFU

  16. mungman69 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    @ tcclark, oh yes, and all of us Lavoy Allen fans will gather in my lawnmower shed and drink iced tea before that huge opening game.
    Will he score? Will he rebound? Will he play? Will we care?

    • tcclark - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Dude I hope you have a big shed. Lavoy has a huge following – Temple Fans, Pacers Fans, Sixers Fan (singular, not a typo) – they all love him. He’s the Arnett Moultrie of the Midwest.

  17. 00maltliquor - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    No Bulls vs. Lakers?

  18. biggredbird76 - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:06 AM


  19. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Aug 14, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    I get the Cavs games as must watch. LBJ- love him or hate him- is still the most compelling player the NBA has. But, two Lakers games as must see? GTFO. No thank you. No way the ancient, lottery bound Lakers will be playing in any ‘must see’ games this year.

  20. ebecks34 - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Lakers x Toronto a can’t miss game? Even I, a Laker fan, may fall asleep during it, good Lord.

  21. basketballbro - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    No Bulls vs Knicks on he 29th/30th (I don’t remember)?!?! Return of Rose and Melo will get to see what he’s missing out on by not signing with Bulls

    • chicago240 - Aug 14, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      Yes, the Bulls will smoke them and Melo gets to go home and look up his cash balances. Everybody wins.

  22. tcclark - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    How can you not put the Dec 21 game between the Magic and the Sixers on your list. I mean Jason Richardson’s return to Orlando, plus Mo Harkless and Elfrid Payton square off against their old team? And don’t even get me started on the Nik Vucavic and Nerlens Noel matchup. I mean one was traded for a center with bad knees, the other IS a center with bad knees. The headlines write themselves.

  23. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Here’s a lesson I finally learned last year: watch the Spurs on any given night. Especially if they’re sitting some of the star players. The way they play together is incredible.

    • pinhead2 - Aug 15, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      I’ll second that. Still the only team in the league where every player checks his ego and his stat sheet at the door and asks Pop What do you need me to do?

  24. socalgal64 - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Lakers/Raptors is not a “can’t miss” game. Respect to Steve Nash, but seriously, his last game in Canada means nothing to Lakers fans. Lakers/Bulls on Christmas Day is more of a “can’t miss” game considering it’s the first game for Pau Gasol against his former team. Also, Kobe and Rose playing against each other for the first in almost 3 years.

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