Like us to subscribe
It's often tough to tell which games are the ones to watch as we go down the stretch of the 2010/11 NBA schedule. Nevertheless, here's ten games we think will be good ones in March and April:
The 2010/11 NBA schedule in February features the return of two free agent power forwards to the old teams. It also features the All-Star Game in Los Angeles, which will surely include three-fifths of the Heat's starting lineup. Here are the 10 games to watch in February:
As great as the Thunder were last year, they had their problems with the cagey Spurs, especially late in games. Will those same problems resurface in this game? If not, maybe that means the young Thunder kids will be all grown up.
The Lakers never play well in Portland, having lost their last eight games there before a win last March. The two teams have historically been rivals, and the Blazers crowd always gets louder for the Lakers than anyone else. Therefore, I couldn't think of too many better games to kick off the second half of the season.
This rematch of the 2009 Finals would have been more fun if Matt Barnes was a member of the Magic instead of being with the Lakers. Nevertheless, this should be a good one.
Because Spurs-Lakers is always fun.
The stars play in the city of stars: Los Angeles. What, I'm just getting you ready for the bad puns.
Another rematch of the NBA Finals from last year. The first ABC game should be more fun, but this one should be good regardless.
This won't be the first time the Florida teams will play this season, but seeing as Orlando should be Miami's top challenger in the East by this point, this game could carry a lot of weight in the standings.
Jazz fans still boo Derek Fisher for leaving the city to help his sick daughter. Imagine the reception Carlos Boozer will get.
Raptors fans + Chris Bosh's first game back home=craziness. Vince Carter will be jealous at the bad reception Bosh will get.
The best playoff games of 2010 occurred at Oklahoma City. Therefore, I can't wait for the Lakers to come to town for the first time all season.
January is the month during the 2011 NBA schedule in which the two participants in the epic 2010 NBA Finals - the Lakers and the Celtics - will play for the first time. But that's at the end of the month. What other games do you have to see before then? Here are our ten favorites.
Another homer pick, I know, but I think it's worth noting that this will be Gilbert Arenas' first trip back to Philadelphia since the infamous "finga gunz" incident. I wonder whether he'll pay tribute to that in any sort of way. On second thought, maybe not.
I realize it's not likely that both Greg Oden and Yao Ming will be healthy for this game, but if they are, it should be a fun battle of well-known centers. If not? These two teams are still intriguing, and the bad blood from a first-round series in 2009 still lingers.
Last season, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony put on a show, with Anthony getting the last laugh with this game-winner. This will be the first time they'll be matched up against each other this season.
There is no love lost between these two teams after an intense playoff battle in 2009, and that makes for some great basketball, especially in Denver. The Nuggets always get up for the Lakers, especially at home, and usually, that convinces the Lakers to shift into another gear.
Dwyane Wade returns home to Chicago after a summer in which he sort of pretended to consider signing with the Bulls, but was only really distracting them in the LeBron James chase. I'm guessing most Bulls fans that would attend the game won't understand all of that, but this one should still be fun.
Amare Stoudemire makes his return to Phoenix for the first time this season. There will be offense. There will probably not be a lot of defense.
"THE HUMBLE STAR" vs. "THE GUY WHO WANTED ATTENTION." What, I'm just preparing you for the dumb ABC marketing campaign surrounding this game.
The Magic's season ended on this floor last year. This will be the first time they will return in 2011.
Wait, so ABC's first big game is a rematch of last year's Finals? How original!
In all seriousness, I'm interested to see if the Shaq/Kobe part of this adds to the intrigue. Okay, not really. But still, it's a rematch of one of the best Finals in recent memory. That'll be fun.
There are many great games on the NBA 2010/11 December calendar, but two stand out above the rest, and they both involve a player that rhymes with SaJohn Lames. (And no, that didn't make any sense. Sorry). Here are the ten games you need to watch in December.
The Lakers-Spurs rivalry is kind of old at this point, considering they haven't met in the playoffs since 2008 (and before that, 2004). However, with the Spurs retooled and younger this season, thanks to newcomers Tiago Splitter and James Anderson, they could be the biggest threat to LA in the West. This might be an early tuneup for both.
"WE WANT MELO! WE WANT MELO!"
The first of several "return games" of sorts for LeBron James on this list. No, he never played in New York, and no, New York never hated his guts. But many Knicks fans still feel the team threw away two years to get him, and in the end, he went elsewhere. I look forward to seeing what kind of reception he'll get.
The Suns may have a completely new look this year, because of the loss of Amare Stoudemire, but whenever Steve Nash plays Dirk Nowitzki, fun things happen. Mavericks-Suns games rarely disappoint, no matter where either is in the standings, and I don't expect that to change on this night. Get ready for some great offense and a great finish.
College teammates John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins will play each other for the first time. Considering just how much each player raised the other's stock while in college (Wall needed a big man like Cousins who could finish anything around the basket; Cousins needed an elite PG like Wall to get him the ball), it'll probably be odd for both to be on opposite teams.
The casual NBA fan probably thinks this is way too high. But here's the thing: if there's any team poised for a Thunder-like breakout this year, it's the Kings. They already have their franchise cornerstone in Tyreke Evans, who is probably going to make a major jump this year. They have Cousins, who could dominate inside from Day 1. Finally, they have some other nice young players and a coach (Paul Westphal) that can deal with all the pieces. (Okay, maybe I'm reaching on that last one, but work with me here). Maybe the Kings disappoint, but there's a chance this could be Young Guns I vs. Young Guns II.
A rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals. Will Dwight Howard be able to score on the Celtics one-on-one with Kendrick Perkins injured?
For obvious reasons.
For more obvious reasons.
The best games of the NBA's 2010/11 October and November schedule are invariably skewed toward the opening week. Nevertheless, there are some interesting games at other times on the calendar. Here are the ten games you absolutely need to watch.
The Lakers will open up the season at home on opening night, as usual, so I'm not really excited about this game because of them. No, I'm excited because this should mark Yao Ming's return to the court. The Rockets could potentially be very interesting this year, with three excellent standstill three-point shooters (Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks and Trevor Ariza) surrounding one of the best high post passers in basketball. This will be our first chance to see if Yao's feet can hold up their end of the bargain.
This is a Thanksgiving game for the basketball junkies. On one side, you have DeMarcus Cousins, who dominated the NBA's Summer League despite being a post-up big man (the kind of players who always struggle out in Vegas). On the other, you have Blake Griffin, last year's number one pick. I look forward to seeing them battle each other in this one.
Unfortunately, this one isn't on national TV, but I'm excited because last year, these two played arguably the best game of the season. Need a reminder?
Okay, so I'm a little biased here, but how cool is it that the Wizards' home opener features John Wall against Evan Turner? I look forward to reviving that contrived "who should go No. 1" argument.
The NBA debut of Wall, combined with the first game in Orlando's new arena? Sounds like fun to me. And this time you can't accuse me of bias.
There are a lot of supposed rivalries in this game, but none are more compelling to me than Spurs-Mavericks. Ever since Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki came into their own, those two teams have been fighting it out at the top of the Western Conference. We've seen some great series' over the years (2003 Western Conference Finals, 2006 Western Conference Semifinals, last year's first-round). This is the first time we'll see these teams play each other this year.
Speaking of budding rivalries, we forget this, but the Hawks owned the Celtics last year. They won all four games against them during the regular season (all great games too), something that went unnoticed as Boston marched to the NBA Finals. The two teams return largely intact, so this one should be fun.
Derrick Rose. Kevin Durant. Two probable 50-win teams. I'm in.
I know, I know, it's the debut for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But honestly, I'm worried this one could be a rout, since Boston always struggles with fast wing players. Therefore, this game gets second instead of ...
... this one. Orlando is a legitimate threat to Miami, and this will also be the Heat's home opener. Give me this game instead of the October 26 one (though both will of course be great).
Basketball Prospectus' Bradford Doolittle has a list of how many sets of back-to-back games each NBA team is playing. Here it is, with a breakdown of those games in parenthesis.
1. CHI 23 2. MIL 23 3. CHA 22 4. CLE 22 5. LAC 22 6. NJN 22 7. PHI 22 8. POR 22 9. DET 21 10. HOU 21 11. IND 21 12. MEM 21 13. NY 21 14. WAS 21 15. DAL 20 16. ORL 20 17. BOS 19 18. DEN 19 19. MIA 19 20. MIN 19 21. TOR 19 22. UTA 19 23. GSW 18 24. NO 18 25. SAC 18 26. SAS 18 27. ATL 17 28. OKC 17 29. PHX 16 30. LAL 15
There will certainly be snickers from the peanut gallery about the fact that the Lakers only have 15 back-to-backs, but this is not uncommon for them.
Now that we know the full NBA schedule for the 2010-11 season, we can start picking apart the details.
First up: Here's a complete list of the home openers for all 30 NBA teams; mark your calendars accordingly.
The NBA released the rest of the 2010/11 NBA Schedule today. We will have more analysis to come, but for now, here's where you can find each team's schedule.
We've broken down some of the key games in separate StoryStream updates, but here's a full list of all the games that were announced on NBATV just now. All times are Eastern.
Season Opener, October 26, TNT
Last season, the NBA televised a slate of games on Martin Luther King Day for the first time. They will do it again in 2010/11, with a four-game slate that includes a rematch of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals between the Magic and Celtics.
Here's the full MLK Day slate:
The NBA has also released the rest of the first week of the 2010/11 NBA television schedule. The slate is highlighted by a fun Derrick Rose-Kevin Durant matchup and the debut of Wizards' No. 1 overall pick John Wall. All times EDT:
ESPN, October 27
The NBA has just announced it's five-game slate for Christmas Day, and the headline matchup features the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers against most people's paper champion, the Miami Heat. Here's the full slate (all times EDT):
The NBA has just announced the teams that will play in TNT's season-opening doubleheader on October 26. Unsurprisingly, the Miami Heat, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, are involved, as are the defending-champion Lakers.
The doubleheader will feature the following two games:
According to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the matchup that everyone’s been waiting for will happen on December 2nd, when Miami visits Cleveland in primetime.
The long-awaited matchup will be televised by TNT, giving national audiences a firsthand look at the reception from Cavs fans to their hero-turned-villain, LeBron James. Will they shower him with boos? Will they feign indifference? Will they go with the best option of all, and collectively boycott the game, leaving LeBron to play in an empty arena?
According to Windhorst, we’ll find out on December 2nd.
According to the Boston Globe, the Miami Heat will travel to Boston to open the 2010 season against the Celtics. From the Globe:
Miami’s new Big Three will be making their regular-season debut against the Celtics’ Big Three at TD Garden.
According to a league sources, the revamped Heat, featuring the daunting trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, will open the NBA season against the Celtics Oct. 26, a clash that will be nationally televised by TNT.
So, given some of the reports thus far, the current slate of opening week games looks something like this:
Those matchups are all subject to change, but for now, that’s what we’ve got. Stay tuned.
The NBA is poised to release the 2010-2011 schedule of "marquee games" at 7 p.m. Tuesday night, but with the "Selection Special" looming, there have been conflicting reports as to which teams will be featured in the NBA's opening week, let alone the marquee games later in the season.
On Monday, reports surfaced that had the Heat and Magic opening the season (and Orlando's new arena) on October 28th in Orlando. Later on, a report from Cleveland's Brian Windhorst reported the Celtics and Cavaliers would be opening things on October 27th. Now, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears adds a wrinkle:
LeBron-Heat open @ BOS Oct 26, sources tell Y! Wiz Wall debuts Oct 27 @ ORL. Rumor is Lakers open versus Rockets in Yao's possible return.
So as of this moment, what do we know in advance of tonight's special? Nothing, really, except that some combination of the Celtics, Heat, Magic, Lakers, and possibly the Rockets or Cavaliers will be involved in the season-opening festivities in 2010. But you probably could have guessed that on your own.
For now, sit tight, and as news becomes more concrete, we'll keep you updated.
With LeBron gone, you’d think Cleveland Plain-Dealer reporter Brian Windhorst would have nothing left to talk about. Well he’s finding things after all, including a report that the Boston Celtics will open the 2010-2011 NBA season October 27th against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
The Celtics eliminated the Cavs in the playoffs this past season. So while it won’t be the same without LeBron, the bad blood still remains.
More important than opening Amway, though, it'll be the tip-off of the 2010-11 NBA season, starting things with a rivalry game that fans have been anticipating since the moment LeBron James announced plans to join the Miami Heat. The gauntlet has been thrown down in the state of Florida, and it's up to the Magic to answer the call.
The rest of the NBA's marquee games won't be announced until Tuesday, but for now, we've got this initial news to whet our appetite. Will LeBron and Kobe face off on Christmas? When do the Heat play in Cleveland? When do the Heat play in New York City? Will the Heat play every game on National TV?
Yeah: Most of the anticipation here surrounds the team that everyone loves to hate.
But for now, we know one thing: The Miami Heat will open the season against their Florida counterparts that everyone seems to have forgotten, in the Magic's new arena, in front of a crowd that will be out for blood from the outset.
This should be fun. We'll have more schedule news as it trickles out from the league office.
We'll email you a reset link.
If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.
Choose an available username to complete sign up.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.