While the domestic football season kicked off this week – NBA fans have to wait until October before the globe’s premier basketball league gets underway. This week though the appetite was whetted as the 2013-14 NBA schedule was announced. From October 31st, 30 NBA teams will each play 82 games as part of the NBA regular season and Pitch’s NBA enthusiast Harrison Davies picks out the games to watch in the first half of the season.
Opening Night – October 29th 2013
The opening night of the NBA sees the return of 2011 Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose, who missed last season with injury, for the Chicago Bulls. They take on last year’s champs the Miami Heat. Also on opening night, fans can enjoy the all-Los Angeles affair between the Clippers and the Lakers.
The Knicks have always been the main NBA team in New York. However, after the New Jersey Nets became the Brooklyn Nets at the start of last season, the “Battle of the Boroughs” rivalry began! All four games between the sides were heated affairs, with both teams desperate to have the city bragging rights. To make matters more interesting the Knicks reserve point guard from last year Jason Kidd, who retired from basketball at the end of the season, is now the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets!
Christmas Day – December 25th 2013
The Christmas Day games always bring huge interest and the NBA have put on six mouth watering games to ensure that the NBA fans worldwide remained glued to their sofas before/during/after their considerable portions of Christmas dinner! GB Olympic star Luol Deng and his Chicago Bulls travel to the star-studded Brooklyn Nets, to kick off the action. The 2011 runners up, Oklahoma City Thunder, face the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The Heat then travel to the City of Angels to take on the Lakers. The penultimate game is an all-Texan clash between the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs. The final game comes from two of the most exciting teams in the league, which will see the Clippers take on the young and talented Golden State Warriors.
London Game – January 16th 2014
A date that was always going to jump out was January 16th 2014, when the Brooklyn Nets take on the Atlanta Hawks at London’s O2 Arena, this is one of two NBA games taking place in the UK this season. The other see the Philadelphia 76ers taking on the Thunder at the Manchester Arena on October 8th as part of the NBA’s Global Games schedule.
Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers – February 19th 2014
The summer of 2013 will be remembered for the Dwight Howard transfer saga. Lakers’ star centre Dwight Howard decided to leave LA and instead signed with the Houston Rockets. The first encounter between these two teams therefore will be one to watch, and with the Lakers players unfollowing Howard on Twitter, it will certainly be interesting to see the reception he receives.