Well, today we will take a little break away from Johnny Manziel, Alex Rodriguez, Aaron Hernandez, and any other negative story going on in sports to talk about the upcoming NBA regular season (ahh, yes – basketball talk finally!) as the new NBA schedule has been released and I am going to break down the top NBA games this coming season. Yes, there are quite a few of them but they are going to be absolutely key to the overall standings in the league and what will most likely happen in the offseason.
Opening Night (October 30) – Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat (NBA Championship Ring/Banner raising night) – TNT
So, Derrick Rose finally makes his return (we think) to the NBA, and also would like for us to know that he is the best player in the game. Well, Mr. Rose, hate to say it……………there’s this guy in Miami that plays for the Heat…………..wears #6, 6’8″, 250 lbs and moves like a cheetah…..think his name is LeBron James, maybe you have heard of him?
The Heat are looking for a 3-peat, especially because the window could potentially be closing on chances to win if LeBron does decide to leave after this season, and after the series last season where the Heat won in 5 games, there will be some retribution wanting to be made for sure, but the question is………….We know who the Heat is, but who are the Bulls? What did they do to get better outside of getting Rose back? There still isn’t a big time scorer, Carlos Boozer is still kinda off and on with his play and its going to be Rose having to carry around some average players.
This game will be a true measuring stick for the path on the upcoming season.
Miami @ Brooklyn – November 1 (ESPN)
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhael Prokorhov has opened up the Brinks truck and is going all in on this time getting to the NBA Finals – soon. In the offseason, the Nets acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics in exchange for some average to bad contracts…….err……players. This will be the first test of this new dominant lineup which will features KG, Pierce, Terry, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. If this is going to be a championship contender, they must have a strong showing against the defending champs.
New York @ Detroit – November 19
Both of these teams have undergone major upgrades for the upcoming season. With the Knicks, the team added Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) from the Los Angeles Lakers to have some defensive intensity to have against small forwards and power forwards around the league (LeBron James), particularly come playoff time. The team brought in forward Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors for his offensive game, and drafted Tim Hardaway Jr. from Michigan to be a combo player and a bit of a hybrid of a slasher/scorer.
For the Pistons, the team has put great pieces around Forwards/Centers Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Having Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings in the starting lineup and bringing back former Pistons guard Chauncey Billups in the backcourt as the leader of the team will make the team far more formidable and a possible playoff team immediately. The Knicks will be their first big test for this group.
Lakers vs Clippers – October 30 (Opening Night – TNT)
The Clippers will be looking to have a different style and flair this year with bringing in Doc Rivers as Head Coach from the Boston Celtics. The team locked in PG Chris Paul for years to come and Blake Griffin is continually stepping up his game. If he can fully develop a low post game and a 10-15 ft jumpshot, the Clippers can go deep into the playoffs.
The Lakers will most likely start the season without Kobe Bryant, who is recovering after surgery to his ACL. The Lakers look as though they are willing to take a step back this season and prepare for next summer when they will look to make a run at LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in free agency. But don’t tell Kobe that. He may give you the Kobe death stare. He claims that he is “shattering” the expectations of coming back from this injury, and while Kobe is ultra competitive, he has to be smart about his body and that an 80% Bryant does help in the short term, but can hinder down the line.
Rockets vs Spurs (Christmas Day – ESPN)
Ahhhhhh, you thought I would be saying all of the games on Christmas Day are key games in this section didn’t you? Well, they are important and will be entertaining, but the Rockets vs Spurs will have meaning in the sense that Dwight Howard and James Harden will have a chance to prove themselves on the biggest stage for the NBA outside of the NBA Finals.
The Rockets have been penciled into the NBA Finals by many publications around the country and going up against quite possibly the best team in the Western Conference for over 15 years will show who they are and if they are ready for primetime. The Spurs will probably win their 50-55 games again, so the game isn’t as important for them, but it will show if the Spurs are still a championship contender again or are the Rockets on the rise to dethrone them and make some serious noise in the West.
New York @ Brooklyn (December 5 – TNT)
This game doesn’t need much hype. At all. KG. Pierce. J Kidd as coach vs Melo, Metta and J.R. Smith. Im sold.
Houston @ Los Angeles Lakers (February 19 – TNT)
Hmm…………Dwight Howard going back to a city where he didn’t get along with many people and it was an uncomfortable ending to the season…………….you think Kobe might want to show Dwight what he’s missing in the theme of possibly a 40-50 point night? Just a thought……
That’s it for now, catch you all later!!