HT’s Marquee Games!

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The rematch and the grudge match on opening night or on Christmas Day?

Not that anyone asked for our input, which we would have been more than willing to provide, but we’ve worked up our own list of Hang Time’s Marquee games to kick off and highlight the 2010-11 NBA schedule.

NBA TV will air the “real” version tonight at 7 p.m. ET. And the full schedule will be unveiled on NBA.com Aug. 10.

So in the meantime, we’re going with our own wish list of marquee games.

TIP-OFF ’10:

Heat at Cavaliers — Why wait to pit LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat against not only the Cavaliers but Cleveland and the entire state of Ohio? There’s no sense in making us wait until Christmas to see the game we’ve all been waiting for. The tension is already through the roof. And there’s no better way to stomp into a new season than with the biggest drama of the summer. Give the Cavs a shot at revenge early and give their fans an opportunity to put some closure on this whole affair before the holidays. And let the Heat start their title quest on the same stage that was the home of their new star the past seven seasons. Do the right thing schedule makers and don’t make us wait for this game.

Celtics at Lakers — The best NBA Finals matchup in years deserves an encore. We can just call this Game 8 of The Finals. Like so many that enjoyed the historic matchup, I could have watched the Celtics and Lakers play well into July. The matchup was that good, the drama that thick and the stakes as high as could be. I don’t normally like to waste a cross-conference throwdown of this magnitude this early in the season. But the circumstances demand it. Plus, we can’t put the Heat on the big stage on opening night and not include Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher and Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo — the other SuperTeam alliances in the league right now.

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CHRISTMAS DAY:

Thunder at Bulls — Don’t assume this is the junior varsity game just because these two upstarts will serve as the appetizer for the main event (below). Anytime you can get Kevin Durant on the same floor with but wearing different a uniform than Derrick Rose, basketball lovers everywhere will be pleased. The Thunder and Bulls are two teams poised to breakout this season and make major moves up the food chains in their respective conferences. If they live up to the lofty expectations surrounding both franchises right now, this could very well be a matchup of top three teams by Christmas.

Lakers at Heat — No lumps of coal will be handed out on this day, whether you celebrate it or not. We all win with the Lakers making their one and only trip to Miami during the regular season (we’re guessing no one complains if they make two or three more during the playoffs …). Lakers fans might not appreciate having to travel like this on Christmas Day, especially since they are the ones with the championship hardware to display. But you can’t go wrong with Christmas in Miami or LA, we’re just choosing to take our game to South Beach, so to speak.

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MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY:

Suns at Hawks — We have to go with tradition here, and you can’t do a MLK Day game without including Dr. King’s hometown Hawks. An added bonus is that by this time of the season we’ll know if the chemistry experiments these two teams will be working on this season have worked or blown up the lab

— The Suns are going to work for the first time in years without Amar’e Stoudemire as their man in the middle. With Steve Nash driving there is always a reason for optimism, but the pressure will be on the Suns all season to prove they can roll without Stoudemire and with Hedo Turkoglu, former Hawks swingman Josh Childress and free-agent addition Hakim Warrick in the mix.

— Larry Drew‘s tenure as the Hawks’ coach will be defined by his ability to finish a complete scheme makeover for an offense that was so focused on All-Star Joe Johnson it had its own nickname (Iso-Joe). Drew’s movement-based offense is designed to include all five players on the floor. Again, the pressure will be on all season to prove that this is change Hawks fans should believe in.

Jazz at Bulls — Two years ago this might have looked like a practice scrimmage with Jerry Sloan presiding over the festivities. Now it’s Deron Williams and new Jazzman Al Jefferson taking on the Rose and the Jazz refugees (Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer). We love inter-league action in the NBA. It’s always sexier in these marquee games than watching division rivals or conference foes square off. We’ve graduated from the days when one conference was so much more dominant than the other, so there’s no need to avoid these sorts of cross-country matchups.

These are just a few of the battles we’d love to see. Surely, you have your own ideas about who you want to see matched up in these marquee games.

Feel free to share with the rest of us (in the space provided below).

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69 Comments

  1. Dongz23 says:

    We’ll just hope that the opening game in Cleveland against Miami will become successful. The problem there is that after the summer bang of Lebron, do you think the Cavaliers fan are still gonna watch the game knowing they will lose it for sure. Second, if the people will watch the game its expected to hear BOOs for Lebron. And maybe, we’ll just hope that there would be no flying bottles and cans in the air while the game is going on and we know the reason why.

  2. […] NationNBA 2010-11 Marquee Games Announced Tuesday NightHULIQSB Nation Houston (blog) -NBA.com (blog) -Orlando Sentinelall 37 news […]

  3. will says:

    I want to see Oklahoma Thunder versus Miami Heat. I want to see Atlanta versus the Miami Heat also. Also, cleveland versus miami.

  4. Nick says:

    how on earth are the magic boring? if anyones boring its the celtics

  5. Aidan Jenks says:

    Well of course the usual spring to mind:

    Miami VS Cleveland – No explanation needed
    Boston VS Lakers – Finals rematch
    Boston VS Orlando – Eastern Finals rematch
    Orlando VS Miami – Sunshine State battle
    Lakers VS Miami – Current 2-time champs VS current 2-time MVP and Superstar trio

    But then theres:
    Lakers VS Thunder – Good First round rematch
    Jazz VS Bulls – Two up and come-rs
    Miami VS Thunder ??

    Some of the other 25 teams should get the opportunity to showcase their skills also:

    Memphis VS Sacramento
    Memphis VS Houston
    Minnesota VS Milwuake
    New Jersey VS New York
    Sacramento VS Washington – Evans and Cousins VS Wall (Cousins and Wall both from UK, and Evans and Wall both coached by Calipri)
    Bulls VS Washington – Rose VS Wall…. other match-ups are pretty boring here though
    Charlotte VS Indiana
    Philly VS Washington – Turner VS Wall
    Clippers VS Sacramento
    Milwuake VS Atlanta – Round 1 playoff rematch!!!!

  6. barry gorum says:

    How about lakers and thunder. Young boys are looking pretty good.

  7. Aleksandar says:

    Opening night:
    Lakers @ Boston (hopefully Cs can get Shaq and it would be insane atmosphere) Lakers geting their rings in Boston, and Shaq vs Kobe. Can’t get wrong with that game
    Heat @ Cleveland – obvious.
    Orlando @ Houston – Howard vs Yao(hopefully a healthy one)
    Miami @ Orlando (if they dont send them to cleveland, orlando is a good substitute) – Dwight wanna show he has no fear for the super team ( Miami hasn’t won in orlando for a long time if i am not wrong)
    pick any team @ NY – after some time, knicks have some good roster that can be competitive. MSG has insane atmosphere when knicks are loosing, imagine what would it be if they are actually wining some games?
    OKC @ Denver – 2 of the best pure scorers against each other

  8. celticman says:

    i would like to see (only for boston)
    1 celtics VS LA
    2 Celtics VS cleveland (just so i can see a thrashing)
    3 celtics VS knicks (what will amar’e do)
    4 Celtics VS heat
    5 Celtics VS oklahoma

  9. LG says:

    I would love to see

    Knicks vs. Magic
    Heat vs. Bulls
    Thunder vs. Knicks

  10. beast@BBall says:

    bulls and nuggets should be one because the game between them last year brad miller hit a shot with0.3 seconds left and the refs said he shot was no good, when it clearly was good

  11. MichaelProe says:

    LAkers Vs HEat.. What other game would u like to watch.. That is the next finals game. I used to be a fan of Lebron , but not no more now…The only other team to watch is the bulls.. All other teams are gonna be boring.. ESPECIALLY ORLANDO….. im not a fan of lebron any more. But the heat will dominate BIG TIME the next few seasons….

  12. chris bosh says:

    yo i wish bosh stayed wit the raps my opinion he couldve won a championship

  13. chris bosh says:

    chris bosh nickname should be chris boss

  14. Geo says:

    Magic boring? The most electrifying big man in the game. Top 2 or 3 defensive team in the league. 1 in 4 out style of play with the point always penetrating looking for the 3 point bomber or the alley to the big man. If that style of play is boring then tell me what team brings excitement. The Celtics are an old and slow half court team with the occasional nice play from Rondo. The Lakers are ok when their triangle is on and the Heat will have a heavy iso style of play. How are those styles any more exciting? Because they have bigger names in a bigger market? This same “weak” team was 7 points away from the FInals so don’t act as if they were dominated and didn’t belong in the Conference Finals.

  15. spursfan says:

    Mention of the Hawks and Suns but no mention of the Magic or Spurs? Politics as usual.

  16. james says:

    Also, how can you not have lakers @ okc as one of these. that was the best series of the playoffs

  17. james says:

    Heat Celtics opening night…heat @ cleveland not til dec. 2….this is a mistake because the cavs will have a terrible record already by then, and thus the game will be nothing more than michigan trying to beat ohio state after a 4 win season

  18. joshua says:

    the celtics gonna be sad because the lakers will get their rings and they gonna win over celtics again and the heat and their superteam gonna lose

  19. jun mackoy says:

    First game this season, I wanna see the Celtics VS the Heats. That’s great. Let’s see how Kevin, Paul, Rey and Rajon demolish Lebron, Dwyane, Chris and who? in their own backyard…HA HA HA…Wanna bet?

    • keith says:

      ha ha the celtics are old and the small 3 they have in their prime are not as good as the miami big 3. it was fun while it lasted but boston is back to rebuilding…

      • jun mackoy says:

        Oh, Keith, Oh…remember 2008? They said they are already old even in that year and yet became champions…2009? Kevin was on injured list, if not? And this year almost won over Lakers if not for the injured Kendrick. Do I have to say more? Anyway, i’m not a Celtics fan ( a Lakers fan) but I really, really admire their style of play, determination with a heart…unlike LeBron James.

    • Trent says:

      the heat will crush the celtics

  20. Benjamin says:

    You forgot to pit Orlando against Miami. I trust this was an oversight. Aside from that, not bad. Thought I think the Utah-Chicago game is a better matchup than OKC-Chicago. In addition to the excellent reasons to make that game marquee that you listed, we also have the 1997 and 1998 Finals battles that inevitably make the Utah-Chicago games big here in Chicago. Aside from that, nice work.

  21. mark tenuine says:

    id love to see the houston rockets and chicago bulls both teams are built for defence

  22. jay says:

    I found oyut recently that the heat are playing the celtics, that should be good but ther game I am most looking foward to seeing is the thunder at the bulls. I mean the heat at the lakers is going to be great but thunder v bulls will have major implications for years to come. I think thodse games will be the most entertaining especially with derrick rose vesus kevin durant matchup in emerging star power. I think it will show two guys who really have a love for the game and want to go out and beat every player out there.

  23. Dana says:

    NO HEAT VS. L.A. first game. That’s get it on people. Or how bout thunder at lakers first game because the thunder are the next up and coming lakers (kindA). IDK THE NBA DOES A GOOD JOB WITH THE GAMES SO IT WONT MATTER. Don’t forget about the nuggets in marquee games too.

  24. twindoode19 says:

    dont play the lakers against the heat on christmas day now what i would like to see i the heat against celtics for christmas it would be young big three vs old big three or exprience as doc rivers say dat would be something good for my christmas day

  25. Amiyr says:

    ORLAND V MIAMI
    – Because we all know those are the favorites for the eastern conference
    -and there are great match-ups all across the floor

    • keith says:

      orlando will be blown out by miami no contest and orlando is boring the rest of the country doesnt want to see them

      • Brandon says:

        As if you speak for the rest of the country.

      • A-Mac says:

        thank you brandon. Orlando V. Miami would be a great game. personally i think the Magic would win because the heat have no good big men who can play defense, especially not on superman

  26. Tom says:

    I would definetly like to see Heat at Cleveland and instead of Boston and Lakers have it be Lakers at Boston that would be more intresting and a closer game for the opening night. I also think that on Christmas day the Lakers at Heat will be great but not Thunder at Bulls maybe Denver at New York but only if New York puts together a good team if not maybe Denver at Orlando or even Dallas because Dallas looks like they have gotten better. Then on Martin Luther King Jr. Day i am not so sure about Suns at Hawks. The Jazz vs Bulls is good but maybe i should be flipped around so that the Bulls are playing in Utah that would be great the loudest fans in the NBA! But maybe instead of Suns at Hawks they have Lakers at Houston. I think this would be great because remember a like two years ago before Yoa got hurt how the Rockets almost took out the Lakers in the playoffs. I just think it would be fun to see the 7′ 6″ Yoa and the 7′ 0″ Brad Miller go against the 7′ 1″ Andrew Bynum and 7′ 0″ Pau Gasol and the most improved player in Aaron Brooks go agaisnt Derek Fisher and Kevin Martin vs Kobe and Trevor Ariza vs his old Laker team. Thats my opinion.

  27. donmega31 says:

    Why does everyone keep talking about the Orlando Magic? There the same weak team from last year… They will get the 3rd or 4th spot again this year, but there not going to get out the east. If Vinsanity is there closer then the book will quickly close on them!

  28. basketball :D VC,LBJ,WILT says:

    these should be the marquee games in my oppinion:
    Lakers v Heat
    Magic v Thunder
    Celtics v Lakers
    Heat v Cavs
    Bulls v Jazz
    Hawks v Magic
    Magic v Heat

  29. Jimmy says:

    The Thunder vs Laker Games should get recognition because these are the two teams with the top candidates for the MVP The Mamba vs the Durantula

  30. bigboy 11 says:

    1 miami-orlando

  31. kobe says:

    opening games should be Orlando v. Miami and Lakers v. Boston

    Lakers get to show off their rings in front of Boston that would be Nice for all Laker Fans!!

    Lakers Three Peat!!!!

    • keith says:

      Lakers are not three-peating the Heat begin a decade of domination this season. sorry kobe lover he’s going to have to be happy with 5

      • ethan says:

        -keith lebron sucks.. why would a superstar like lebron go awway to win. it hurts his legacy he will leave on the NBA MJ and Magic jhonson even said they never woulda paired up with bird to win a title.. that is just dumb lebron dosent deserve a spot in the hall of fame cause of his dumb move nuff said

      • keith says:

        wow ethan you really buy into the hype dont you? in 2 years everyone will forget he played in cleveland and mj and tragic are worried he is going to be better than them…nuff said

      • A-Mac says:

        I’m all for the lakers 3-peat. gotta give it up to the purple and gold, but realisticly i dont think they will win three straight. but keith youve got another thing comin if you think the heat are just gonna coast through. they have the biggest target on their backs and even teams with no chance for a playoff berth are gonna play em hard.

  32. R4 says:

    I just pray that with all that has gone on, that there will be no more superstar calls that put what the NBA calls elite players on the foul line 10-15 times a game. People are saying that the nba has less talent but when someone who isn’t called an elite player get hack or foul its a non call but when Lebron, Wade, Kobe go up with little contact its an and 1. Will the ref call a fair game in the upcoming season or will it be pretty much the same thing. Fool superstar calls. That’s how you balance the talent stop blowing the whistle for those guys and start doing it for everyone in the NBA.

    Primetime games need to start giving smaller market teams a chance to play. NFL allows teams like Detriot to play in Primetime Monday night football, why can’t the NBA allow teams like Indiana, Golden State, or Charlotte to play on christmas day. I seen some games where team such as I named have wonderful finishes but never get its just due. I hope its not the same boring ass match up where the Lakers play against Boston or something. Change it up, Give a chance too Kings vs. Warriors I would love to see that nice cross town rivaly

    • Brandon says:

      Agree 100%. The Kings need to be on national TV more and not just on NBA TV. If the Warriors and Clippers can be on ESPN and TNT, then why not the Kings? They’re all bad teams, but I know Stern has something against the Kings. If the NBA is suppose to be for the fans, then every team should be on national TV at least 10 times a year. The Lakers, Heat, Magic, and Celtics aren’t the only teams in the NBA.

  33. Kensshin0789 says:

    If by any chance this dreams became true,damn then f*** this s*** .This will better than wrestle mania or even ufc title.They should have title for every game.First game should be fans vs traitor.We gonna see many things fliying around, controversial game.Second should be Dynasty vs Legacy, the complete rilvary. The third should be the rising stars of the nba.The lighting tiger and the fire dragon.The fourth one Old school super duo vs the new generation super threesome.The next game is the one is supposed to suck so the other games look good.The last one is the jordan ghost who torment every utah players to go to chicago.NBA is so cheap, but at least is entertaining.too bad I’m not watching christmas game, maybe a replay.Van Gurdy is right.One should stay in home with your family than watching a silly game.Fans boys should boycott christmas game and go home with their family.

  34. CJ says:

    Are you serious, this is the worst list every..La at miami for xmas, lakers are the champs you come to our house, no orlando against the heat for the rights of who owns FL

  35. Chris says:

    I would love to see Orlando vs. Miami opening night!

  36. Nom Nom says:

    I would be interested in a Warriors-Kings matchup. The Curry/Evans rivalry down in Cali is going to be a compelling one for the next few years.

    • R4 says:

      I would love to see small teams like that compete even an New York vs Toronto would be crazy… But too point guard playing there hearts out would be nice to see for a change. You should have to be hot to be on TV. If the NBA has the best fans in the world they should be able to put on anything on TV because its related to basketball… Even Soccer plays lower market teams on national tv and football does the same thing and never loses fans. Time for a change and it starts at the top. And if no change is made then the David needs to bounce.

      • Candid says:

        I don’t want to watch New York vs. Toronto on opening night or christmas. I mean get real buddy. Knicks vs. Raptors? What the hell for?

  37. Hassaan Rana says:

    I agree with these match-ups HT has made. But I have 2 home court dissagreements. For tip off ’10, it should be Lakers at Celtics. If this is a “Game 8” of the Finals it might as well shift to the place “Game 8” would have been.And for MLK Day, instead of Jazz at Bulls, it should be Bulls at Jazz. My reason why is because I would like to see Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer return to Utah at the Energy Solutions Arena but this time in a Bulls jersey. In my mind, that would be pretty epic.

  38. lawrence says:

    go lakers!

  39. mark tenuine says:

    i cant wait to see my chicago bulls vs miami heat its going to a battle

  40. Jay says:

    It’s funny there’s no Orlando games but, here are my top 6 games I’d love to see:

    1. Lakers v Heat – As a potential NBA Finals matchup this needs no explanation.
    2. Lakers v Boston – This needs no explaining. (But Perk has to be back)
    3. Heat v Boston – for the East the NBA championship goes thru Boston in one way or another
    4. Heat v Cleveland – This also needs no explaination
    5. Bulls v Jazz – Love to see how these new Bulls/Old Jazz players will react to playing in Utah
    6. Orlando v Miami – Battle for the sunshine state- Superman v the Super Friends (comic book classic..lol)

  41. Bruno says:

    i will have to agree about the two games for the opening night.
    i would like to to see lebrom back in Cleveland with miami would be really nice, further game 8 of the finals would be the best way to start new season………..

  42. Gerald says:

    Along with the ones mentioned above, I would love to see Amare Stoudemire against the Suns at Phoenix. Haha. That would be nice to see how the crowd reacts to Amare. So New York versus Phoenix.

  43. Gerald says:

    Along with the ones mention above, I would love to see Amare Stoudemire against the Suns at Phoenix. Haha. That would be nice to see how the crowd reacts to Amare. So New York versus Phoenix.

  44. Cliff says:

    Whoa Whoa What???!!! What about the Orlando Magic, I think the Magic should get to play the Heat, Lakers, or Celtics on one of these days!!!!! Right??? Lets see the results!

  45. Miamiman says:

    man, i def. wanna open the season with Cavs vs Heat, Celtics vs Lakers, and Jazz vs Bulls. Of course we all know why the Cavs and Heat,, Celtics and Lakers are always great,, and Jazz and Bulls. Well its D will vs Rose, Jefferson vs Boozer, and i just want to see how the 3 new bulls(former jazz) figure in the game vs their previous team. CHRISTMAS– Heat @ Lakers, Celtics @ Magic — Got two of the favorites going into the season — two time defending champs and then Miami super sqaud. — and I wanna see some top East action and if D Howard can be effective vs the Celtics while still using their shooters to get a win.
    SEASON FINAL GAMES– Thunder @ Lakers ,, Jazz vs Hornets. After this years 1st round, id like to see a big bang to finish the season, Durant vs Kobe (two top MVP type players of course). then D will vs C. paul, of course if C. Paul will play with heart, which id hope he does. and just for the fun of it. Id like to watch Heat vs Celtics play in LA with Kobe, Pau, and Artest officating. Just an idea.

  46. declaytor says:

    Derrick Rose new nickname: “The Rose” What do you think?