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:
10. Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs: February 23, 8:00 p.m.
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.
9. Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trail Blazers: February 23, 10:30 p.m.
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.
8. Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando Magic: February 13, 3:30 p.m., ABC
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.
7. San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers: February 3, 10:30 p.m.
Because Spurs-Lakers is always fun.
6. 2010 NBA All-Star Game: February 20, 8:00 p.m., TNT
The stars play in the city of stars: Los Angeles. What, I'm just getting you ready for the bad puns.
5. Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics: February 10, 8:00 p.m.
Another rematch of the NBA Finals from last year. The first ABC game should be more fun, but this one should be good regardless.
4. Miami Heat at Orlando Magic: Feburary 3, 8:00 p.m., TNT
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.
3. Chicago Bulls at Utah Jazz: February 9, 9:00 p.m.
Jazz fans still boo Derek Fisher for leaving the city to help his sick daughter. Imagine the reception Carlos Boozer will get.
2. Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors: February 16, 7:00 p.m.
Raptors fans + Chris Bosh's first game back home=craziness. Vince Carter will be jealous at the bad reception Bosh will get.
1. Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder: February 27, 2:30 p.m., ABC
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.