As many questions as the NBA season had last year going into it, there are even more questions going into this season.
- Will the Miami Heat defend their NBA championship as so many expect to do?
- How much does Steve Nash left in the tank and is it enough to take the Lakers to a championship where Kobe Bryant so desperately wants to return to?
- How successful will an NBA team in Brooklyn be?
- Can Jeremy Lin continue to play with the magic he found last season as a New York Knick, now as a Houston Rocket, the team that released him just last year?
- Why did the Toronto Raptors give Landry Fields $20 million?
- Seriously, where the heck is Dwight Howard going to play and does it even matter?
But with those questions, the good news is this: At least we know when and where this will all take place. There are always a number of matchups to be excited about, and here are 10 of the most anticipated ones.
- Oct. 30 Boston at Miami – The last few years, these matchups have always been ones to pay attention to. This year is a little different. Not only is this the night that Miami will get their championship rings, but this will be the first time The Boston Celtics get to see their former teammate, Ray Allen, in a Miami Heat uniform. The tension will be palpable.
- Oct. 31 Sacramento at Chicago – The Chicago Bulls didn’t make very many moves this offseason and some argued that they’ve been right on the cusp of being able to challenge The Miami Heat. Last year, disaster happened and their leader and former league MVP, Derrick Rose tore his ACL in the first round of the playoffs. This marks his first official game back from a devastating injury and no doubt Bulls fans will keep their eyes on him in his first game back.
- Nov. 1 New York at Brooklyn – Are you kidding me? The New York Knicks versus a team from Brooklyn? This is the matchup that basketball purists and New York City residents have dreamed of. This marks the first game of a Yankees/Mets type rivalry, and it’s sure to be a great rivalry, and great for the city of New York.
- Jan. 30 L.A. Lakers at Phoenix – Player movement is just something that happens in sports, especially the NBA, but it doesn’t diminish the significance of when a fan-favorite, even a former league MVP comes back to his old stomping grounds. By this point in the season, The Phoenix Suns will have played Steve Nash in his brand new Lakers uniform, but this will be first time the fans in Phoenix see him in the purple and gold.
- Dec. 7 L.A. Lakers at Oklahoma City – This one is bound to be interesting. In what many predict to be a preview of the Wester Conference Finals, the dominating fashion that The Thunder defeated The Lakers no doubt left a lasting impression on Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace didn’t do this rivalry any favors by making fun of James Harden on Twitter during the NBA finals by saying he was “all beard and no brains”.
- Dec. 17 Houston at New York – It remains to be seen whether or not Jeremy Lin can even continue to perform at the stellar pace he performed at last season before knee surgery sidelined him before the playoffs last year. Jeremy Lin’s first trip back to Madison Square Garden should still move the interest meter, regardless of how both of these teams are performing at this point of the season.
- Nov. 4 Minnesota at Toronto – Brandon Roy is one of the good guys. When he retired due to medical reasons at the start of last season, it was truly heartbreaking to see a good guy so young going through that. He partook in the controversial knee operation that Kobe Bryant and other athletes have used and excelled with and he’s giving his career another shot in Minnesota. We sincerely wish him the best of luck.
- Feb. 10 L.A. Lakers at Miami – You gotta figure that one of these years this will be an NBA Finals preview, and with the addition of Steve Nash for the Lakers, this could be the year.
- Dec. 25 Oklahoma City at Miami – We would obviously be remiss if we didn’t list the NBA Finals rematch as one of our Top 10 most anticipated games of the year. This annual tradition always makes for a fun Christmas day.
- ????? – This matchup is reserved for the first game where Dwight Howard dons a new uniform, if he’ll ever don a new uniform this year that is.