The 2012-13 NBA season kicks off on October 30. Let’s take a look at some of the major games that fans are already clamoring about in the season’s opening week.
Celtics at Heat (10/30, 8 P.M. ET, TNT): A rematch of last season’s thrilling Eastern Conference Finals is the feature game on opening night as the Celtics travel to South Beach to face the Heat. There is plenty of animosity between the two clubs, amped by the defection of one of the league’s best three point shooters, Ray Allen, to the Heat. Expect fireworks with LeBron, D-Wade, KG and Rajon Rondo on the floor.
Nuggets at 76ers (10/31, 7:00 P.M. ET, NBA League Pass): Andre Iguodala makes his return to the city that he played the first eight years of his career in. The Nuggets were the highest scoring team in the regular season last year and are a fast paced, transition style offense. The 76ers were the league’s third-best defensive team in points per game last year, making a clash of styles matchup.
Spurs at Hornets (10/31, 8:00 P.M. ET, NBA TV): The debut of the Unibrow pits Anthony Davis and the Hornets against the best power forward of the current era in Tim Duncan. New Orleans has plenty of young talent with Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers in addition to Davis. Can New Orleans turn the corner after a run of dismal campaigns?
Grizzlies at Clippers (10/31, 10:30 P.M. ET, League Pass): A matchup of two teams that went the full seven games during the playoffs a year ago, with the Clippers emerging victorious. Both teams have plenty of talent on the floor, with Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol leading the way for the Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the returning Lamar Odom are major cogs for the Clippers.
Knicks at Nets (11/1, 7 P.M. ET, TNT): The rivalry between the Knicks and Nets officially kicks off with the two teams in the same city as the Nets transition to their new digs in Brooklyn. The Knicks hope that Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are enough to lead the team to the postseason while the Nets, rebuffed in their attempt to get Dwight Howard, roll with Deron Williams, Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez and shooting guard Joe Johnson.
Thunder at Spurs (11/1, 9:30 P.M. ET, TNT): A rematch of the Western Conference Finals takes place in the Alamodome of San Antonio when the Thunder come to town. Was there a passing of the torch from Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich to the youthful Thunder? The high flying combination of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden look to run the Spurs out of the building and show that last season’s run was the start of something great.
Clippers at Lakers (11/2, 10:30 P.M., ESPN): The battle between the two Los Angeles teams gets underway in earnest. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are the latest injections into an aging, fading rotation around Kobe Bryant, who is entering the twilight of his Hall of Fame career. Can the Lakers pull out enough magic to stop CP3 and Blake Griffin from ruining their evening? There still is lingering bitterness that the Clippers got Paul after the league vetoed a deal that had him going to the Lakers.
What game are you looking forward to watching during the opening week of the NBA season?