15 Games You Shouldn’t Miss

Back in his playing days, Magic Johnson used to say the first thing he did was search for the dates when his Lakers would face Larry Bird and the Celtics and then he’d circle them on his calendar.

Every fan does it — scours the schedule, finds those special games with the extra story line or pop and starts to make up those early excuses to duck out on minor social commitments like weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals in order to be in front of the big screen TV.

Here’s a fast-breaking head start on 15 games you don’t want to miss:

Tues., Oct. 30 — Celtics at Heat (TNT) — You’ve got The Heatles of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh singing, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” as they’re presented with their championship rings before the season opener. Maybe it’s the first of “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five…” And you’ve got the image of the traitorous Ray Allen suiting up for the first time against his ex-Celtics teammates. There is not a more intense rivalry in the NBA today than Miami-Boston. The enmity is visceral.

Thur., Nov. 1 — Knicks at Brooklyn Nets (TNT) — Welcome to the first regular-season home game by a major league professional sports team in Brooklyn since the Dodgers last played at Ebbets Field on Sept. 24, 1957. The sparkling Barclays Center hosts the Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and friends against the new home team led by the high-powered backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in the new Battle of New York. The Knicks never quite took the Nets seriously while they were across the river in New Jersey. But now the resurgent Nets could own the five boroughs.

Thur., Nov. 1 — Thunder at Spurs (TNT) — It’s the season opener for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and the rest of the young guns, coming off their loss to the Heat in The Finals. They return to the site of their most singular victory to date, the Game 5 breakthrough at the AT&T Center that propelled OKC to their stunning 4-2 reversal against the Spurs in the Western Conference finals in June. Tim Duncan is signed up for three more years, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are at his side and the Spurs believe the door is still open for them.

Fri., Nov. 2 — Clippers at Lakers (ESPN) — Remember all of the hard fouls, the technicals, the takedowns, the trash talk? Well, that was just a warm-up for Year 2 of the L.A. Battle Royale. Now the Lakers have Steve Nash, but the Clippers have Grant Hill. The Lakers are telling themselves they are not past their prime to win another championship with an aging Kobe Bryant and the Clippers are telling themselves they are no longer a joke with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin leading the way. This no longer a laughing matter.

Sun., Nov. 11 — Magic at Nets (League Pass) –– If we assume that the Magic open the season with the NBA’s tallest malcontent still on their roster, this will be flip-flopping Dwight Howard’s chance to see the brand new palace that he could have been calling his home court if he hadn’t signed away his right to become a free agent last March. Oh, Dwight, Brooklyn hardly knew ye.

Mon., Dec. 17 — Rockets at Knicks (NBA TV) –– How do you go from Jeremy Linsanity to Jeremy Linvisible in the space of just 10 months? Well, after his 15 minutes of fame made him a worldwide celebrity, Jeremy Lin signed a three-year, $25.1 million free agent contract with Houston and the Knicks turned him out like he was Fredo Corleone. Now Lin makes his first trip back to Madison Square Garden in a visiting uniform and it will be interesting to see whether the old fans give him a roaring welcome to Manhattan or a Bronx cheer.

Fri., Nov. 23 — Timberwolves at Trail Blazers (League Pass) — It wouldn’t normally leap off the page of the calendar and scream “Watch me!” But it will be former favorite son Brandon Roy making his first trip back to the Rose Garden after retiring, cashing that big amnesty check from the Blazers and then deciding, um, he’s not done yet.

Tues., Dec. 25 — Thunder at Heat (ABC) — Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Duranta Claus coming down the chimney of the defending champs in the first meeting since LeBron’s crowning moment when the Heat closed out OKC 4-1 in The Finals. The Heat now have Allen and Rashard Lewis under their Christmas tree, but that Thunder package now comes wrapped in another year’s worth of experience.

Wed., Jan. 30 — Lakers at Suns (ESPN) — What if Batman showed up on the streets of Gotham City wearing the green hair and purple suit of the Joker? Well, Nash might not pull on a fright wig, but that purple uniform of the arch-villain Lakers will be scary enough for the former adoring masses in Phoenix. Will they salute the past battles of the two-time MVP when he was a desert rat fighting the Laker empire or give him the disdain of any friend of Kobe’s?

Thur., Jan. 17 — Heat at L.A. Lakers (TNT) — They’ve been two teams going in vastly different directions for the past two seasons. But now that Kobe Bryant has Nash to run the pick-and-roll for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and take some of the offensive burden off his back, the Lakers believe they’ll have enough scoring pop to squeeze their way back into the contender conversation with the reigning kings.

Sun., Feb. 10 — Lakers at Heat (ABC) –– Sure, it’s the last stop on a grueling seven-game road trip for the Lakers. But don’t think for a minute that Kobe won’t be packing that SPF-24 and plenty of attitude for the rematch against the red-hot boys from Miami. It’s also a chance for LeBron and D-Wade to remind Nash that he made the wrong decision in not bringing his talents to South Beach.

Thur., Feb. 7 — Lakers at Celtics (TNT) –– Forget that Magic and Bird are long gone, that neither team has won a championship in the past two seasons. This is still the seminal rivalry in the NBA. Kobe vs. Kevin Garnett on the parquet floor, listening to the crowd chant: “Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.” It doesn’t get better than this.

Thur., Feb. 14 — Heat at Thunder (TNT) — Never mind the roses and the box of chocolates. Here’s a big, juicy one right on the kisser, compliments of the league’s power couple. Are these two teams sailing along with the best records in their respective conferences? Are LeBron and Durant battling it out for the MVP Award? One thing is certain: there will be no love lost when the Thunder get last season’s conquerors back in their embrace in Loud City.

Wed., Feb. 20 — Celtics at L.A. Lakers (ESPN) — It’s been a couple of years since Doc Rivers left that wad of cash stuffed up in the ceiling tiles of the visitors’ locker room at the Staples Center. But it’s still special when the Celtics come to town. Even the jaded Laker fans pay more attention to the game on the floor than the Hollywood celebs on “Kiss Cam.”

Sun., Apr. 7 — Lakers at Clippers (ABC) –– One last time for the brothers to wrestle on the furniture in the family room, likely with playoff seeding (and possibly with the Pacific Division title) up for grabs. You sit back and relish the pushing, shoving, scratching and clawing and hope they can do it for best-of-seven in a few more weeks.


  1. IcedT says:

    15 Games a LAKER fan shouldnt miss.

  2. Mikey G says:

    what about lakers @ magic . dwight returns to orlando

  3. Choker says:

    take off the magic and nets game….. Howard was already traded….

  4. KP20 says:

    how bout Brandon Roy’s return to Portland????


  5. mp15 says:

    what about hawks at sixers. kyle korver and lou will vs sixers?

  6. Enoc43 says:

    How about Miami @ Cleveland? It would be interesting to see how Cleveland receives the King after he won a ring first than Dan Gilbert’s Cavs. How funny his face would look with LeBron killing them again!


  8. Derrick says:

    to bad we cant watch these games the world is gonna end lolz sike miami heat excuse me lebron james is bringing another title to his belt its a new era in the nba and when Darko millic decides to come to miami its a certain not 1 not 2 not 3 not 4 not 5 not 6 not 7 but miami is the dominant team as long as lebron james is playing

  9. zer02her0 says:

    I can see new orleans in the video but i dont see it in the top 15 list. All i see is lakers which is a very boring team in the regular season. Oh cmon!! whats going on here??!

  10. BynumSupporter@Manila says:

    Nice one.. I would try to watch it all here in the Philippines.. Good job!!

  11. BoyHEAT says:

    Can someone pls explain again why Allen is traitorious?

    Do I have to explain this over and over again?
    Allen was already old and it will be useless to join Boston because they already took young guards so why would he even think of resigning to the Celtics? And besides, he wanted a ring before he could and he’s career in the NBA! I bet some Celtics fans know what Im saying

  12. Mizzle says:

    I think dey should have DAL@NYK and @BOS after Jason KIdd/Tyson Chandler and Jason Terry left to go 2 those teams DEN@NYK to c da results on Melo returning BOS@NO father against son and what Rondo will do against Rivers MEM@DAL da return of Mayo I agree w/ NYK@HOU, LAL@LAC, BOS@MIA, OKC@MIA, NYK@BKN, BKN@ATL, MIL@CHA, MIA@IND, CHA@SAC, LAL@PHX, PHX@HOU, POR@MIN da return of Roy and UTA@MIN da return of AK47 there is 2 many LAL games everybody isnt a Kobe or LBJ fan there is 2 many bandwagonners I think da Nets, Knicks, Hornets, Pacers and whatever team D-Howard goes 2 will b more interesting!

  13. EtildetC says:

    Seriously, where are the Bulls at? I’m a Heat fan, but… really guys? Even though Rose is missing, they’re still going to be exciting to watch.

  14. JOHNNY says:

    dafuq? no bulls games??? is it because rose is out for maybe the whole season?

  15. melo says:

    how about the heat @ celtics game ? should be interesting to watch how celtic fans will react as ray ray makes his return @ the TD garden

    • Peter says:

      Hell yes!!

      Hell, I’m eager enough just to see the Celtics period – this will be by far the youngest and most athletic Celtics team since the big 3 era began. With Rondo at the helm and all of those young guys out there I anticipate a LOT of fast break action.

      Plus I’m eager to see how Sullinger and Melo translate into the pros 🙂

  16. nbafan says:

    i cant wait fo this season to star wana c bos vs miami just to c allen get booed lol hornets vs spurs c if davis n rivers also if spurs r done or not nyk vs mia if ny actually got any better this yr or if they r still a first round exit raps vs nets cuz i m a canadian n i do want to c if jonas was worth the hype also to c how good nets got with their new acquirements

  17. Basketball Junkie....I need a fix says:

    Heat fan here….and I’m looking forward to Lakers vs Clips to see how Odom plays against his old team now that he is back in La La land. I’m also looking forward to Suns and Lakers now that Nash will be wearing Lakers gear. Heat vs Celtics can’t wait!!!! Merry Christmas finals rematch Heat vs Okc!!!! Dang it’s taking October 30 to long to get here. Lets Go HEAT……time 2 RePEAT!!!!!

  18. XYRUS says:

    Miami should sign Kenyon Martin !

  19. Eric says:

    Not a single Bulls game up there.
    They have had the best record 2 years running.
    It’s ok, all of their playoff games will be must see when Derrick is healthy and rested and walking all over the East in the playoffs.

    • Peter says:

      What do you expect?

      Who do they have that’s exciting to watch right now – Deng, Noah, Hamilton? Nope. Without Rose they are a boring as hell, and with him they are just a great reg season team that can’t go deep in the playoffs.

  20. lakers fans says:

    lakers, is the most number of fans in earth number 1
    1 in asia,europe(fans)
    1 in facebook(like)
    1 in twitter(follower)
    1 in news(always in headline)
    1 bigest market in nba(richest team)
    1 in income(highest income)
    i’ll watch all lakers games!!!
    evry where u are there will be a lakers fans!!!!

  21. CML says:

    The reason there are very many Laker games in the Top 15 is because they have the most hated player in the world and he is in a team with many rivals and many teams equal to their caliber. Seriously, don’t hate on the writer. His reasoning for each Top match is good. I mean, what intensity is there with Dirk battling the Celtics now with Jason Terry? The C’s will just eat up Dallas. These Top 15 games are the ones that will most likely become a bloodbath for the ball

  22. dmontani says:

    i love that they called lakers fans jaded… bandwagon just like miami

  23. 16going417 says:

    This is a GREAT list of games to watch. Besides, ANY game not involving the Lakers is not worth watching anyway. HA HA HA HA HA HA………………………….

    All you complainers are funny. You do not need NBA.com to TELL you which games to watch. Go get the schedule and pick your own list of must see games………….

  24. jonathan says:

    What about cleveland vs D-Leage that should be a close game

  25. BLKMamba24 says:

    It seems the NBA (David Stern) has a love-hate relationship with the Lakers. (see nationally televised LAL games)
    now onto the dilemna: hmmm…..go to church or stay home and watch the Lakers every Sunday afternoon?

  26. Fefe (Nets) says:

    I have nothing against the Lakers, but c’mon: 7 games out of 15 with the Lakers are “must-see-TV”???? Kinda boring.
    How about the Pacers or the Hornets (with a very good young team)???
    Anyway I’m waiting for the Knicks @ Nets game. Go Nets!

  27. hoopdoc says:

    Yeah c’mon i cant wait to hear Ray booed at the TD Garden…also what about the Pacers Vs Heat, i think that’s a rivalry in the making…

  28. willie says:

    kings vs. bobcats….. can’t wait to see that… hahaha …. lol!

  29. #18 says:

    This schedule is not very balanced in terms of back-to-backs. Most of the top teams have about 15-17. ie. Miami has about 16 and Celtics has 22. Stern is trying to wear down the Celts to get his high rating finals..

    • Peter says:

      Lucky the Celtics have gotten a LOT younger this year, and they have the dept to allow Pierce and KG the rest they need 🙂

  30. Nina says:

    Why wouldn’t Hornets @ Celtics be there…. Austin Rivers vs. his dad

  31. Milz says:

    Hmmm…How could you not have Melo making his homecoming in March!!! Thats a must see…n if you even think those boos in DEN are going to affect the 40 pt outing and the W..Melo will bring…ur sadly mistaken!!

  32. Nina says:

    I’m very surprised there are no Bulls games in this. I’m a Celtics fan but it still surprised me.

  33. titikomalaki says:

    go PBA! go Ginebra! wooo!!

  34. Celtcs05 says:

    Lakers @ Bobcats

    Go Celtics!!!

  35. BeatLA says:

    C’mon man kings-raps! Circle that one on your calendar

  36. Kamote says:

    My must watch:
    1) Howard’s-New-Team @ Orlando… It’s like LBJ at Cleveland again.
    2) Memphis @ OKC… for the past two years these two young teams are at it during playoffs, with OKC winning both. Can Memphis win this year?
    3) Nets @ Dallas… Deron wouldve teamed-up with Dirk. And if the Nets win in Dallas, it’s like rubbing it more on Cuban’s face that he shouldnt have let T. Chandler go in planning to lure DWill.
    4) Bucks vs Golden State… not elite teams, just want to know who got better with the trade. but who cares anyway LOL.
    5) Heat @ Cleveland… just so LBJ can show Gilbert he got the ring first.
    6) Lakers vs OKC… might be a preview to West Finals
    7) Nets vs Knicks… Battle for NY supremacy, just bragging rights on who got it right.
    8) Minny vs. West Elite… just to know where the Wolves stand in the playoff race

    Shouldnt be on the list:
    1) LA @ Phoenix??? Nash will get his standing ovation (unless PHX fans are like in Utah lol)… but it will be a lopsided match… not worth watching.
    2) Clips vs. Lakers… I don’t really see the hype here. I know Paul shouldve been w the Lakers, but thats it. Blake??? He just got schooled by an aging Duncan. Knows nothing more than just throwing forearms while hes on his way to the rim.
    3) Lakers vs Heat… bandwagoneer’s Finals wet dream LOL. Its just about “Who’s better, Kobe or LBJ?” that only fans of Kobe and LBJ care about… and other basketball fans don’t give a sh.
    4) Boston vs. Heat… This I’d rather see in the playoffs 🙂

    • cool knicks fan says:

      LeBron’s return to Cleveland after the “Decision” was a big game even though it was clear who was better. So for that reason, Nash’s return to Phoenix shoud be on. Who knows, there might be an upset, the Suns have some nice, young talent on their team.

    • Miami Guy says:

      No OKC, Heat game? Heat Cleavland–> That game is not hot anymore..

      • Kamote says:

        OKC vs Heat was already on the author’s list, just making some ammendments :).

        I know Heat-Cleveland not hot anymore… just see explanation :).

        ADD: sixers vs. Bulls w Rose… there shouldnt be an upset last year 🙂

  37. Edgar says:

    Lakers Vs Thunder

  38. @JGunda says:

    so biased..

  39. ??? says:

    you’ve miss a lot of good games this season like knicks @ denver melo first return to his former team. Heat @ Celtics allen’s first return to TD Garden wearing Heat uniform. Celtics @ Dallas i want to see Dirk facing Jason Terry after winning championship in 2011. Nets @ Hawks Johnson facing his former teammate Smith and a lot more… Almost all of your games are Lakers games you’re a LA Fan boy no doubt..

  40. Chris says:

    Can’t wait for the Rockets @ Knicks game! Linsanity!

  41. Lawson UP says:

    UM how could you not list March 13 Wed. Knicks @ Nuggets. Melo is going to hear the arena boo him to death. Also he’s gonna regret going to the amateur Knicks.

  42. joe says:


  43. Ken says:

    Only games I’d never miss would be the Heat in D-League. Go Lakers.

  44. sarcasm much says:

    what about Milwaukee vs Cleveland?!?! thats gonna be a huge game

  45. tim says:

    what about heat @ celtics..ray allen’s return
    and are u some sort of lakers fan or what???lol

  46. KnowItAll says:

    What about the Heat and Pacers? That game is going to have alot of tension in the air.

  47. cb5487 says:

    I think you need a few more Lakers games…yeesh. Just my personal opinion but people outside of L.A. really don’t care about the Lakers!

  48. cb5487 says:

    I think you need a few more Lakers games…yeesh, people outside LA really don’t care about the Lakers. Just my honest opinion.

  49. Jono says:

    Dude could have just simply saved time and put “Every game involving the Lakers”

    • PC says:

      More like every game involving Kobe Bryant. And then some Steve Nash

    • Miami Guy says:

      I agree with you. Looks like LA got the title last year or played finals. As a longtime Miami Heat, and a basketball fan, I prefer to watch fast OKC games more than slow LA games. And I do not agree with a few Nets’ games making top 15? No respect to OKC, and Heat on this list.

    • Miami Guy says:

      Ohhh this list is for LA fan, now get it.

      • LakersftwKB says:

        Umm maybe every game up there is involving Kobe because we are watching one of the greatest all time or the greatest all time playing the last few years of his career. Look at his stats from all the way back at 1996, he’s been tearing up the NBA for decades now… not to mention he’s closing in on the all time points list and many other records. Maybe some real basketball fans think its interesting to watch one of the greatest all time still doin work! Were gonna miss him in a few years when he calls it quits!

      • honesty says:

        yeah but how fun is watching a guy fade away every possesion on an iso. He was amazing to watch when he drove but now he shoots 8 for 22 and has ten points from the free throw line. Lakers are a bore to watch, hopefully Nash changes that.

      • NBAJAM12 says:

        Kobe fans crack me up i think his great but NEVER EVER compare him to MJ the goat cuz your right kobe played for decade and more and still hasnt beat all jordans records here let me explain this to you L aliens , meaning jordan played half the time if he would had played a few more years it would have been impossible for anyone to beat them , you guys think like kobe stupid comment thinking they could hang with the dream team the should not let kobe play anymore for desrespecting the mj , magic, and bird etc….he knows better but sorry durant will blow kobe scoring records to shizzzzzzzz when his time is over not MJs kobes

    • R4 says:

      Last year i didn’t watch one game until playoff because I found that I already knew the result of which team were going to compete basic on reading these blogs. Don’t get me wrong i read these blogs much more than I watch the games but man can the NBA finally stand up to these tv network and say, “Either play every team in our game on national TV or we will find somone who will?”. Its getting very dull to me to see you guys talk about the same teams in and out the last couple of years, I wish there was major change in this game like NFL. I could be dreaming but I would love to see or read a little bit the Bucks, Raptors, Jazz, Bobcats, Wizard. Teams that are not being appreciate at all.